Parsley Box

Parsley Box founder Adrienne MacAuley and CEO Kevin Dorren

Shares in Parsley Box Group have collapsed yet again this morning following a disappointing trading update.

The DTC ready meals for the over-65s operator reported a 30% fall in revenues to £9.6m in the six months to the end of June.

Sales from new customers declined from £3m a year ago to just £900k, while repeat sales also fell from £11m to £8.7m.

Total order numbers in the first half were 212,000, down from 385,000 a year ago. As a result, the group now expected full-year revenue of £19m.

Its share price tumbled 28.6% to just 12.5p on the back of the news, down from 200p when Parsley Box floated in early 2021, valuing the group at more than £80m at the time.

Since then, the company has been hit by a number of setbacks, including supply chain issues and flagging demand, triggering a string of profit warnings and forcing it to return to investors for more cash.

Following the latest slump in the stock price, the company’s market cap sits just above £9m.

Parsley Box cut back on marketing spend and focused on tight cost control measures in the first half, resulting in a reduction of its adjusted EBITDA loss by 42% to £2.1m.

The full-year adjusted EBITDA is expected to remain broadly in line with expectations at a loss of £4.1m.

The group said the cost of acquiring new customers continued to increase, hitting £34 in the half, compared to £31 a year ago, with the cost of a repeat order doubling to £6.

“Deploying cost effective marketing spend continues to be a key challenge in the business and the marketing strategy continues to evolve,” Parsley Box added.

It has recently struck a new partnership with the Daily Mail online to help attract new customers, launching food hampers for the Queen’s Jubilee and Wimbledon.

A new TV campaign is also set to launch in September and run for the rest of the financial year, but the group said it would reduce other marketing activities from Q4 should the high cost of acquisition continue.

CEO Kevin Dorren said: “We have continued our product innovation at pace to increase the opportunities for customers to order from us, and remain focused on balancing investment in customer acquisition and maintaining cash reserves, whilst we navigate the challenging consumer environment.

“We recently brought down the price of a range of customer favourite meals to £2.95 to help alleviate the rising cost of living, and have frozen all prices until September. We remain well funded and continue to deliver quality, good value, and nutritious food.”