Moo reports 'strong return to growth'

Moross: focus on high quality, differentiated, and sustainable options
Moross: focus on high quality, differentiated, and sustainable options

Moo plans to focus its future efforts on the USA, its “largest and most lucrative market” and is also targeting further expansion into high-end merchandise products.

The luxe web-to-print specialist has just filed its results for calendar year 2021. The US focus has seen the group switch to reporting under the IFRS standard, with the 2020 figures restated because of that. 

The results were filed late. Vice president of finance Benjamin Smith said that was because of complexities surrounding the IFRS conversion. 

CEO Richard Moross described 2021 as “a year of positive transformation” after the challenges of 2020, when Moo’s business was hit hard by the pandemic restrictions.

Sales were up 12% to $93.2m (£77.25m), while adjusted EBITDA was vastly improved at $10.1m, up 81%. 

Nearly 80% of sales now come from North America, where Moo focuses on SME businesses “who care about their brand”.

However, Moo said that across its offering it also still believed in the “huge potential” for its managed services offering for larger companies and would continue to invest in that area. 

Operating profit was $3.4m compared with the prior year’s operating loss of $10.4m.

The bottom line loss was $20m (2020 loss: $15m) following a $23.2m finance expense related to the group’s convertible loan note. 

Smith explained: “Also of note in 2021 is the $22.9m fair value movement on the Future Fund convertible loan note, with the notional interest charge being related in the most part to the meaningful increase in the value of the group.

“It is envisaged, taking account of the committed support of a significant number of participants, that when the loan note matures, the majority of the instrument will convert into equity.”

He said Moo was in its “strongest ever financial shape”.

Moross said that Moo’s revamped structure and ways of working, including its ‘Work 2.0’ initiative, would “further strengthen our culture whilst lowering our operating costs in absolute and relative terms”.

In the UK, the business has moved into a new 1,672sqm office space at Labs Camden, which is the base for around 160 staff. 

Moo’s first merchandise product was notebooks, and it launched its first non-paper product in the autumn of 2021 with its luxury, customisable water bottle.

Moross told Printweek that Moo would be highly selective in growing its merchandise range, with a focus on premium and sustainable products through its ‘Sustainable Impressions’ approach to product development. 

“We are looking at categories in branded merchandise for which we can develop high quality, differentiated, and sustainable options,” he explained. 

“We are more interested in making a few standout products, as opposed to developing significant range depth, so we are not planning a deluge of new products. High quality curation for Moo is key.”

Business cards, Moo's original and most popular product, also bounced back with business card revenues up from $56.5m to just under $62.9m. 

Moross said: “We have seen a strong return to growth across all categories, including business cards, especially in our higher end lines like Luxe and Super. 

“We believe that as face to face events and meetings have come back, they are being treated as more of a valuable and important occasions, where making a high quality, memorable impression really matters.”

In the US, Moo has relocated its production operation from Lincoln Rhode Island to a new space in East Providence that is nearly three times the size at 10,219sqm, providing the capacity for the planned branded merchandise expansion.

About 100 people work in manufacturing there, with a further 80 remote/hybrid roles such as customer service and sales. 

Moo’s UK manufacturing site is in Dagenham. 

In 2021 the average number of employees fell to 362 from 524 due to the restructure.

Things also improved for Moo’s highest-paid director, whose remuneration was cut to by almost 50% to $229,011 in 2020. This increased to $550,074 in 2021. 

Subsequent to the year-end Moo extended its revolving credit facility to January 2024.