MilkLab shrinks its annual loss

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

Noumi (ASX:NOU), the company behind MilkLab and a range of plant-based dairy products, formerly known as Freedom Foods, has shown promising progress with a sharp reduction in its annual loss for the year ending June 30.

The company reported a loss of $46.9 million, reflecting the ongoing success of its turnaround strategy, implemented after a near-collapse situation two years prior. This loss represents just a quarter of the staggering $161 million deficit from the previous year.

Annual revenue saw a noteworthy uptick of 5.6%, reaching nearly $552 million, driven by growing consumer interest in its dairy and nutritional offerings, particularly the MilkLab line of almond milk.

This shift was mirrored in the company's adjusted operating EBITDA, a non-traditional measure of profit, which surged to $30.4 million for the fiscal year 2022-23, compared to a modest $7 million in the preceding year.

The reported net loss incorporates non-cash impairments totaling $8.2 million related to the valuation of plant and equipment in the Dairy and Nutritionals segment, as well as $39.5 million in adjustments to the fair value of convertible notes.

Directors clarified, "Excluding these non-cash items, the Company reported a positive net profit after tax of approximately $0.8 million, compared to a loss of $80.3 million in FY22.”

Directors attributed the 10.8% revenue growth of the Consumer Nutritionals portfolio to investments in brands like Vital Strength and the development of new products.

The company maintained a slight increase in cash at bank and undrawn facilities, amounting to $36.6 million, ensuring sufficient liquidity for day-to-day operations in line with current market conditions and expectations.

CEO Michael Perich expressed in an ASX filing, "The past year marked significant progress for Noumi as we advanced through our three-phase Reset, Transform, and Grow strategy in the face of occasional headwinds. Our focus on executing our plan has yielded tangible accomplishments on the path to sustainable, long-term growth."

Perich continued, "In addition to the continuous expansion of our Plant-based Milks business, exemplified by another record earnings performance of our flagship brand, Milklab, we are particularly pleased with the substantial turnaround in Dairy and Nutritionals."

He noted, "Dairy and Nutritionals, which recorded an operating loss in FY22, achieved positive adjusted operating EBITDA in the latter half of FY23, representing a significant stride towards long-term sustainability."

Perich concluded, "Looking ahead, our priorities include enhancing distribution for the Plant-based Milks business both domestically and internationally, and solidifying the recovery in Dairy and Nutritionals. Despite challenges posed by the ongoing dislocation of the Australian farmgate milk price from global prices, we remain committed to adapting to the market's demands."

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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