Germany's HelloFresh reports quarterly sales above expectations

German meal-kit delivery company HelloFresh said on Tuesday sales more than doubled in the fourth quarter, beating expectations, as the trend of cooking more meals at home during coronavirus-related lockdowns persisted.

Adds details, CEO quote from release

March 2 (Reuters) - German meal-kit delivery company HelloFresh HFGG.DE said on Tuesday sales more than doubled in the fourth quarter, beating expectations, as the trend of cooking more meals at home during coronavirus-related lockdowns persisted.

HelloFresh, which delivers pre-portioned meal ingredients with recipes to subscribers and has its main market in the United States, has benefited from a surge in orders during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now riding the wave of a boom in e-commerce, for which the health crisis has acted as an accelerant.

"As the pandemic hopefully winds down over the course of 2021, we expect consumers to continue to rely on e-commerce solutions to shop for food, as many have experienced the superior value proposition that we can offer in terms of price, variety and convenience," Chief Executive Officer Dominik Richter said in a statement.

The company reported quarterly sales of 1.11 billion euros ($1.33 billion), above analysts' expectations of 1.05 billion euros seen in a company-provided poll, and up 116.6% year-on-year on a constant currency basis.

Full-year sales grew 107.3%, at the lower end of its own December forecast of between 107% and 112%.

The company reaffirmed its forecasts for the current year, published in December, of currency-adjusted sales growth of between 20% and 25% and adjusted EBITDA margin of 9% to 12%.

($1 = 0.8320 euros)

(Reporting by Veronica Snoj and Milla Nissi in Gdansk; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Subhranshu Sahu)

((veronica.snoj@thomsonreuters.com; +48 58 769 65 89;))

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