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April 9, 2020

Murray River Organics withdraws outlook as Covid-19 impact intensifies

Murray River Organics is pulling its financial guidance almost a month after the Australia-based dried fruit snacks producer first revealed a Covid-19 impact.

By Dean Best

Murray River Organics is pulling its financial guidance almost a month after the Australia-based dried fruit snacks producer first revealed the initial impact from Covid-19.

In the middle of last month, the Sydney-listed business said it had “experienced delays to shipping and orders” in February and March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak but was unable to put a financial estimate on the impact. However, Murray River did retain its outlook for a full-year EBITDA-S loss in the region of AUD1m to AUD3m (US$623,000 to $1.9m).

Today (9 April), Murray River (MRG) provided an update to the stock exchange. “Given the current uncertainty about the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the company’s operations, it is not possible for the company to reliably quantify the potential impact on MRG’s financial performance. Therefore, MRG considers it appropriate at this time to withdraw the earnings guidance previously provided,” it said.

And further, Victoria-based MRG said today the coronavirus crisis has had a “significant impact” on its exports and fresh fruit programmes, and also caused delays within its import supply chain.

“Whilst the domestic retail and ingredients business has experienced increased demand and additional orders in some categories due to buying behaviour in March, there is uncertainty whether this will continue,” MRG added.

MRG has been struggling financially for some time, reporting EBITDA losses for each of the past three years. In 2019 the business said it was seeking additional equity funding to support future expansion but Covid-19 now presents an additional challenge.

Last year’s results showed a 12% decline in revenues to a tad over AUD60m, and an EBITDA-S loss of AUD3.6m, down from a AUD14.3m loss in the corresponding period.

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