Meal kit giant Gousto delivers its first profits

Founder Timo Boldt said Covid restrictions had a positive impact on demand. However, he does not expect this to reverse as restrictions ease. The British business's founder added: "We had incredibly positive growth prior to the pandemic so can see that continuing even as things ease. "Like anyone, we are really happy to see hospitality reopen and don't expect a major shift - we are still looking at hundreds of millions of meals being eaten at home across the UK.

"There have been really strong signs with new customers over the past year sticking as well, recognising the convenience and value of Gousto."

Revenues jumped 129 percent to £189million in 2020.

The firm posted its first full-year profit, with underlying earnings of £18.2million for the period.

Mr Boldt said the strong growth continued into 2021, with more than 25 million meals sold in the first three months. The group believes demand has been bolstered by its value proposition, amid investment to keep pricing below that of its major rivals.

It pumped funding into boosting capacity, launching a second fulfilment centre in December. Gousto expects to double its delivery capacity again by 2022 with new distribution centres in Essex and Cheshire.

It also expects to double its workforce of around 1,000 employees.

More than a fifth of current staff are in technology roles and Mr Boldt believes this will be a major opportunity for the business.

He said Gousto is looking at the licensing potential for the automation technology used at its distribution sites. Mr Boldt added: "It is undoubtedly very early but it is easy to see that opportunity."

"We are really proud of our technology platform and our focus is utilising that to ensure we have the best proposition possible for customers.

"But we know that if we are getting this completely right, then there might be licensing opportunities further down the line."

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