Beyond Meat burgers

Beyond has struggled in its domestic North American market and performed better in internationally

Shares in Beyond Meat have shot up by 45% as the plant-based foods group signalled a move to raise its prices and highlighted improving margins as a result of cost-cutting.

The update came as the New York-listed group reported better-than-expected sales in the final quarter of 2023, with revenues down 7.8% year on year to $73.7m (£58.2m).

Annual revenues also topped the company’s guidance of $330m to $340m, coming in 18% lower than 2022 at $343.4m (£271.4m). The positive performance in international markets, including Europe and the UK, offset weakness in its domestic North American market.

However, Beyond posted a bigger gross loss of $82.7m in 2023 on a margin of –24.1%, compared with $23.7m and a margin of –5.7% in 2022.

Net losses for the year totalled $338.1m.

“In 2023, Beyond Meat undertook extensive initiatives to reset the business toward sustainable operations and, ultimately, profitable growth,” said CEO Ethan Brown. “Much of this reset is now coming into view.”

He added: “Our 2024 plan includes taking steps to steeply reduce operating expense and cash use; pricing actions and the right-sizing of our production footprint, both in support of margin expansion; a years-in-the-making core platform renovation in Beyond IV that delivers superior health benefits and taste; and, following the announcement and initiation of our global operations review, taking certain non-cash charges pertaining to inventory and assets that are no longer consistent with our path to profitability.

“We believe these sweeping changes, together with measures we plan to pursue this year to bolster our balance sheet, will strengthen our near-term operations as we pursue our vision of being the global protein company of the future.”

Beyond forecast net revenues in the range of $315m to $345m in 2024, while gross margin was expected to be in the mid to high-teens range for the full year.

The statement last night sent the share price rocketing by 75% in pre-trading, while the stock is up 45.6% to $10.95 so far today on the Nasdaq.

Beyond has endured a brutal handful of quarterly trading updates as demand for plant-based products declined last year.

In November, the group announced it was slashing its non-production workforce by 19% as it sought to dramtically cut costs and turn around performance.

Beyond missed a number of sales forecasts throughout 2023, revising down its full-year expectations twice from $375m-$415m to $360m-$380m and then to $330m-$340m.

Investor disappointment has also seen the valuation of the company collapse, with shares down from highs of $234 following the 2019 IPO.