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All measures of Noumi (formerly Freedom Foods) were down across the board for the first half of fiscal 2022, with net sales down 7% to $265.3 million as the company was dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns, supply chain issues, staffing shortages and rising costs.

Noumi owns food and milk brands including MILKLAB, Australia’s Own, So Natural and Vitalife.

Adjusted operating EBITDA decreased 79% to $4.6 million as the pandemic affected sales volumes, productivity and increased costs.

Noumi’s main support, Tony Perich. Credit:Rob Homer

During the six-month period, Noumi posted net after-tax losses of $65.8 million, an increase of $50.8 million over the same period a year earlier.

But the company reversed most of the losses as part of a US litigation settlement, which, if ruled out, would lower net losses by $0.1 million.

On the upside, sales of the MILKLAB barista line of plant milks were up 32% and 64% for export, despite the pandemic disruptions.

The US litigation settlement also removed growth restrictions on MILKLAB and other nut milk brands, according to the company.

Noumi chief executive Michael Perich said COVID-19 disruptions had affected the business throughout the six-month period, but the company was seeing MILKLAB sales increase and gain momentum. in Asian export markets.

“As the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions ease, and despite the uncertainty created by rising geopolitical risks around the world, we expect a recovery in financial performance across the business, with flows positive operating cash flow and growing economies of scale leading to improved earnings,” he said. .

In terms of outlook, the company said the Omicron wave that hit over Christmas is still affecting sales figures. It continues to be impacted by cost pressures from COVID-19 related to rising raw material and transportation costs. Geopolitical risks also contribute to price volatility.

The company expects underlying financial performance to improve as the COVID situation improves. In 2020, Noumi shares plunged after the abrupt departure of the chief executive, leaving the main shareholders of the Perich family to intervene.

The company is also facing a Shareholder class action currently before the Supreme Court of Victoria alleging misleading financial reports between 2014 and 2020.

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