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Returning CEO partially funding Oliver’s Real Food recovery

Source: Oliver’s Real Food Instagram
Source: Oliver’s Real Food Instagram

After a difficult year, which saw the business disappointed by holiday trading performance, Oliver’s Real Food reported $161,000 in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and investment income (EBITDAI) in Q4 FY19.

The business reported a net cash deficit of $331,000 in the June quarter, a “hangover” of the restructured management team’s overhead reduction program. The business said it has stemmed the cash burn moving forward.

Cash reserves are expected to be at their lowest in August 2019, and as such Oliver’s founder and recently-returned chief executive Jason Gunn has offered a short-term draw-down facility as advance funds to keep the business afloat.

“The transformation that has taken place in this business in the past four months is remarkable,” Gunn said.

“We have been through a process of rebuilding the culture, restructuring the offering, and the team, ensuring we have everyone in the correct position with a clear understanding of their role in driving this business into the future.

“There has been a palpable, positive shift in energy at all levels of the business, with both the team and the customers responding positive shift in energy at all levels of the business, with both the team and the customers responding positively to that shift.”

Oliver’s did not provide updated earnings guidance for FY19, which it downgraded in February to a $1-4 million loss on sales revenue of $34-38 million.

In a trading update posted in November 2018, the business was expecting to report $1-1.5 million in EBITDA on $40-43 million in revenue.

Moving into the new financial year, the brand is focused on delivering a break-even or better result in the first quarter of 2020 – traditionally Oliver’s softest trading quarter.

The business underwent a drastic leadership shuffle in March when former-chief executive Greg Madigan resigned after only 10 months in the role.

Gunn stepped back into the leadership role “invigorated, relaxed and ready”, while Nicholas Downer was named chairman, Steven Metter was named company secretary and Amanda Robson Gunn was named operations manager.

The new leadership team said it will focus on returning confidence to employees, implementing cost control and returning the business to its pre-IPO formulae in an effort to increase turnover and profit.

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