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HelloFresh nears record with lockdowns seen spurring demand

HelloFresh nears record with lockdowns seen spurring demand
Business
HelloFresh SE’s six-day winning streak has left it trading within a whisker of a record high, defying the broader market rout as investors bet on increased demand for its meal kits from customers forced to stay at home.

The company’s shares are among the few European stocks in positive territory since a slump in global equity markets accelerated this month. While HelloFresh shares initially fell with the broader market, they quickly reversed losses. The stock rose as much as 10 per cent on Monday, briefly surpassing a previous closing high of 26.30 euros reached on March 5.

The shares have gained as countries across Europe and many U.S. states have forced restaurants and cafes to close and imposed restrictions on people leaving their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. HelloFresh’s biggest market is the U.S., and they also operate in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands.

“HelloFresh is the biggest globally, they’re the biggest in America, and we think they’ll be a beneficiary,” Sarah Simon, an analyst at Berenberg, said in a recent phone interview. HelloFresh didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Simon highlighted that HelloFresh’s business model is less time-sensitive than the takeaway food model as customers order meals for a number of days, while the fact that everyone is at home anyway means fewer problems with changes in delivery times.

Shares of U.S. rival Blue Apron Holdings Inc. surged 345 per cent last week as the company saw a “sharp increase” in demand for its meal kits. German online pet supplies retailer Zooplus AG has also been touted as a potential winner as customers stock up on pet food for long periods at home.
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