| Sweden

Oatly narrows losses in the first quarter and names new CEO

The Swedish oat drink maker turned a profit in the EMEA region, saw losses narrow in the Americas and made progress on longstanding production and supply chain challenges

Oatly has announced Jean-Christophe Flatin (left) will take over the role of CEO from Toni Petersson (right) from 1 June 2023 | Photo credit: Oatly 

Oatly has said it is on track to turn a profit in 2024 after posting robust first quarter revenue growth around the world and lower overall losses.
Reporting its results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2023, Oatly said total revenues
increased $29.5m, or 17.7%, to $195.6m compared to $166.2m for the same period in 2022.
The Malmo-based company posted a $59.3m EBITA loss compared to $81.4m for the same period last year
In the EMEA region, Oatly achieved 8.5% revenue growth to $98.2m and turned a profit of $4.6m compared to a $7.4m loss for the same period in 2022, 84% of which was generated through its retail channel.
Oatly attributed stronger EMEA performance to product price rises and reduced branding and advertising expenses, with the volume of products sold rising to 73 million litres from 69 million a year ago.
Oatly’s America’s region saw first quarter revenues rise 36.2%, to $64m and posted an EBITA loss of $11.8m compared to $23.3m during the same period in 2022. Product volume rose slightly year-on-year from 33 million to 35 million litres, with 52% of sales coming from its retail channel.
In Asia, Oatly saw revenues rise 16.4% to $33.4m but reported a higher EBITA loss of $18.1m compared to $16.9m for the first quarter of 2022. Oatly said both product demand and production capacity in China had been adversely impacted early in the quarter by now lifted Covid restrictions.
“We delivered a solid start to the year, with an acceleration of growth, sequential gross margin expansion, and an improvement in profitability. Importantly, the supply chain has continued to perform well. This strong supply chain performance has enabled us to make progress against our 2023 priorities and start playing offense again,” said Oatly CEO, Toni Petersson.
In a separate press release, the oat drink maker announced Jean-Christophe Flatin as its new CEO, who will take over the role from Toni Petersson on 1 June 2023.
Oatly credited Flatlin as having led successful initiatives since joining the company a year ago, including simplifying the company’s organisational structure, driving cost and resource efficiencies and instituting a new operating model to improve profitability.
“We have all the elements in place to strengthen our leadership position in multiple markets and fuel the societal shift to a more sustainable plant-based food system,” Flatlin said.
Petersson, who has served as CEO since 2012, will transition to the role of Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Oatly ended 2022 with 12% annual sales growth to $722m and a pledge to maintain efforts to solve production and supply chain issues that have dogged the company in recent years.
In January 2023, Oatly partnered with Canadian packaging company Ya YA Foods to boost productivity and efficiency at its North American factories.

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