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Maggie Beer Holdings sinks on profit warning

Staff shortages, higher staff churning and the cost of training new employees has also weighed heavily on the company’s dairy companies, Paris Creek Farms and St David Dairy, which will contribute to more than half of the slide in Maggie Beer Holdings’s full year earnings.A litany of disruptions and costs have blotted Maggie Beer Holdings’ copy book for the current financial year including supply chain hiccups, increased sea freight charges, increased fuel costs, further disruption to retail orders and customer deliveries caused by the floods, the war in Ukraine and the sustained Covid-19 lockdown in China. The profit warning triggered a 13 per cent share drop to 40c early Thursday morning.The cost pressure on the ASX-listed Maggie Beer Holdings, which owns the Maggie Beer food brand as well as an online hampers business, has become so great the retailer has been forced to lift its prices for its online hampers as well as within the grocery channel where its range of pastes, pate, cheese and cooking stocks were sold in major supermarkets.Ms Beer sold her food brands into the publicly listed company six years ago and remains a director and major shareholder in the ASX-listed company that carries her name.Adding its name to a growing list of retailers in the last few months that have seen their earnings evaporate in the face of inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions and staff shortages, Maggie Beer Holdings on Thursday warned it expected its full-year pre-tax earnings to fall by $4.2m. Of this retreat, the underperforming dairy assets account for approximately $2.8m.This company now expected its group’s EBITDA to be in the range of $9.25m-$10.5m for fiscal 2022. Sales have remained strong however, with the trading update reporting that sales were up 25.6 per cent for its recently acquired Hampers and Gifts Australia business and up 19.3 per cent for its flagship Maggie Beer products arm for the financial year to April.Its online sales lifted 165.6 per cent for the financial year to April with group net sales up 13.1 per cent for the period.The company is on track to achieve its net sales revenue guidance with net sales of $95m-$100m for the year, the company said on Thursday. This is almost double its sales for 2021 and was driven by the hampers acquisition.But its earnings are feeling the pain of Covid-19 and supply chain chaos, which Maggie Beer Holdings said in the trading update had been more prolonged than previously expected.“As highlighted in the group’s first half 2022 results update, the financial performance of the business was being impacted by disruption to retail grocery orders, and several one-off and unforeseen costs due to Covid-19 which have continued into the second half,” the company said.“Whilst the group had factored some of these challenges into its full year forecast, some costs and the disruption to retailers, staffing and supply chain were more prolonged and higher than expected.”Maggie Beer Holdings had also pushed through price increases to help alleviate the rising costs and impact of disrupted supply chains.“We have been working hard to implement price increases across all go-to-market channels to fully offset these cost pressures, but with major grocery retailers using their full 13-week window to approve price increases, there is a lag effect, however the price increases submitted to retail grocery have now been approved and will come into effect late May 2022.”Chief executive Chantale Millard said as with all businesses, the second half of 2022 had seen many new challenges arise, with further flow on effects of Covid-19, increases in costs due to the devastating floods in Central Australia and northern NSW and QLD and the war in Ukraine. “The group and in particular Maggie Beer Products and Hampers and Gifts Australia have continued to perform well, with its diversified revenue stream, whilst absorbing the higher costs and delivering industry leading gross margins. “With price increases being implemented across the group we expect to see our earnings growth return to expected levels in fiscal 2023. With our strong cash position, we are fortunate to be able to bring our working capital requirements forward, for the all-important Christmas trading period, to make sure we can continue to achieve strong growth in fiscal 2023 and ensure we can declare Maggie Beer Holding’s first distribution or dividend with our full year results.”

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