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Oatly posts ‘record’ 2021 revenues – but losses widen

Oatly saw global revenues rise sharply in 2021 as the company benefitted from increased production capacity worldwide, but total losses widened amid a challenging operating environment

Oatly has added production capacity over the last year to keep pace with rising demand for its products | Photo credit: Oatly 



Reporting its results for the full year ended 31 December 2021, Oatly said revenues rose 52.6% to $643.4m compared to the same period in 2020.
 
Fourth quarter revenues also rose $58.8m, or 46.3%, to reach $185.9m, with Oatly crediting additional supply from the company’s new production facilites in Vlissingen, the Netherlands and Ogden, Utah enabling the company to meet growing global demand for its products.
 
However, reflecting the production and supply chain issues that have dogged Oatly over the last 12 months, the company reported a wider pre-tax loss for the year of $215m compared to $58m in the year previous.
 
In October 2021, the company’s CEO, Toni Petersson revealed in an interview with Bloomberg that Oatly was only fulfilling around 70% of orders, including to Starbucks stores, as demand outstripped supply globally.  
 
Commenting on his company’s latest results, Petersson said: “2021 was a record year for Oatly, with revenue growth of greater than 50% year-over-year fuelled by global demand for our products, despite ongoing Covid-19 variant-related challenges across the more than 20 countries in which we operate,” said Toni Petersson.
 
“Our team added new production capacity at an unprecedented pace with the addition of three new manufacturing facilities to capitalise on the consumer appetite for our products as we convert traditional dairy users to plant-based milk consumers. We have a proven, disciplined and thoughtful multi-channel strategy for growth that we believe sets us apart from the competition based on our success thus far in building our brand across three continents with a significant amount of whitespace to add new markets,” Petersson added.
 
Looking to the year ahead, Oatly said it was well-positioned to catalyse growing demand for plant-based dairy alternatives around the world. However, the Sweden-based firm said it continued to navigate a challenging operating environment, with Covid-19 still having the potential to impact production alongside “significant supply chain disruptions” and “increased inflationary pressures.”
 
Oatly forecasts revenues of $880m-$920m in 2022 and that it would generate a gross profit margin of greater than 40% in the long-term.
 
Oat-based dairy alternatives are fast becoming a staple among coffee shops worldwide as consumers opt for healthier coffee pairings and seek to reduce their environmental impact.
 
In January 2022, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn network began serving Oatly on board trains as part of efforts to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
 
In December 2021, US boutique coffee chain, Blue Bottle began serving oat as the default coffee pairing across selected stores in California in a bid to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
 
In the UK, World Coffee Portal research shows oat has overtaken coconut as consumers’ preferred dairy alternative in coffee shops.

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