Allbirds revenue growth powered by robust holiday demand

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FILE PHOTO: The Allbirds flagship store sign is seen in Manhattan, New York City

-Allbirds Inc topped market estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday as consumers splurged on its eco-friendly shoes and athletic wear during the holiday season.

People returning to pre-pandemic routines after staying at home for months have been spending heavily on sneakers for running and hiking, driving up sales of shoemakers.

Allbirds, a favorite of Silicon Valley workers, has also benefited from a shift towards environmentally-friendly brands among Gen Z and millennial shoppers. The company uses wool and other plant-based alternatives in its products.

Sales rose 23% in the last three months of 2021 to $97.2 million, beating analysts’ expectations of $91.76 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company’s view for first-quarter sales of between $60 million and $62 million was below estimates, but its full-year forecast was more positive and came in above expectations.

The annual sales growth is likely to benefit by about 1% to 3% from the price hikes planned for 2022, Allbirds executives said on a post-earnings call.

Companies across sectors have been trying to preserve margins by passing on the pandemic-led inflation across the supply chain to customers, but demand has remained resilient despite the higher prices.

The logistics expenses and costs related to opening more retail stores weighed on Allbirds’ margins in the fourth quarter.

It lost $10.4 million, or 9 cents per share, in the period, compared with a loss of $9.35 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. The figure was in line with analysts’ estimates.

Shares of the company, which counts actor Leonardo DiCaprio among its backers, were down 7% in extended trading amid broader market weakness.

(Reporting by Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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