Oatly hails 2021 as "transformational" as revenues surge

By John Reynolds on Thursday 19 August 2021

Oatly hails 2021 as
Image source: Oatly products/Oatly
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The Swedish oat milk marker reported a yearly uplift of 53.3 per cent in Q2 revenues to $146.2m and forecast that annual sales would be up by at least 64 per cent to $690m.

Oatly CEO Toni Petersson hailed 2021 as “transformational” as the Swedish oat milk maker reported a more than 50 per cent surge in year-on-year revenues to $146.2.million in the second quarter.

Amid heightened demand for plant-based alternatives, Oatly has forecast at least a 64 per cent increase in its annual revenue to $690m, above estimates of $681.4 million. Sales in the quarter were up 53.3 per cent on the year to $146.2m.

The company pinpointed its exclusive tie-up with Starbucks as pivotal to its performance, with the coffee chain accounting for 27 per cent of revenues in the second quarter.

Losses, however, increased year-on-year in the quarter from $4.4m to $58.8m.

Oatly, which listed in the US earlier this year, attributed its increase in loses to high employee expenses, public company costs and costs of scaling the business up.

Oatly raised $1.4bn when it floated on Nasdaq in May with a valuation of $10bn.

The Swedish firm, whose backers include Oprah Winfrey and Jay Z, announced investments of its operations in the US, Singapore and the Netherlands to drive up production.

It is also opening a new US production facility in Texas, the firm’s biggest in North America.

Production had been curbed due to a temporary plant closure in Europe due to coronavirus along with capacity constraints.

Oatly said it has seen growth across retail and foodservice in the second quarter, with its performance across foodservice helped by the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

Foodservice accounted for 33.2 per cent of sales while, retail made up 61.5 per cent in the period, the company said.

Petersson said: “2021 represents the most transformational year in our Company’s history with the completion of our successful IPO in May, which has provided us with the capital to fuel new production capacity globally as we scale our business across three continents to meet the robust consumer demand for our leading oat-based brand.

"We are incredibly proud of our global team’s execution with strong growth in new and existing customers, the opening of two new facilities in Ogden, Utah and Singapore, as well as doubling production capacity at our facility in Vlissingen, Netherlands.

“Our record second quarter revenues were in-line with our expectations and demonstrate broad-based growth across geographies and sales channels, despite certain COVID-19 and start-up related manufacturing headwinds we experienced in the quarter.

"We’re continually expanding global production capacity to support our long-term growth and launching key partnerships and distribution agreements with prominent customers globally. We’re excited about the addition of our second manufacturing facility in Asia, which remains on-track to open in the second half of 2021, providing a second new source of local production to the region.

"Our new and existing production capacity gives us confidence in our ability to achieve an accelerated revenue growth rate in the second half of this year, while also extending our core values and mission for a more sustainable food system.”

Meanwhile, the FT reported that Oatly has defended the standards in its financial reporting amid criticism from US short seller Spruce Point.

The hedge fund had criticised its financial accounting as “false and misleading”.

Peterson said Oatly a board committed aided by independent legal counsel had revised the claims.

“The special committee has completed the review and I’m pleased to say that we continue to stand by the accuracy and ethics of our reporting,” he said.