1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

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1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript February 2, 2023

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc. Fiscal 2023 Second Quarter Results Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. After today's presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. And please note that this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Andy Milevoj, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Andy Milevoj: Good morning, and welcome to our fiscal 2023 second quarter earnings call. Joining us today are Chris McCann, CEO; Tom Hartnett, President; and Bill Shea, CFO. Before we begin the call, I'd like to remind you that some of the statements we make on today's call are covered by the Safe Harbor disclaimer contained in our press release and public documents. During this call, we will make forward-looking statements with predictions, projections and other statements about future events. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those contained in our press release and public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company disclaims any obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements that may be made or discussed during this call.

Additionally, we will discuss certain supplemental financial measures that were not prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in the tables of our earnings release. And now, I'll turn the call over to Chris.

Chris McCann: Thank you, everyone, and good morning. Our second quarter results reflect a successful holiday season and benefited from the strength of our food brands and improving gross margins. We did a good job projecting consumer demand for the quarter, particularly related to trends and sales curves. On a consolidated basis, revenue declined 4.8%. Our Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets business had a solid quarter, with revenue being relatively flat, while revenue within our Consumer Floral & Gifts segment decreased 12%. This has been keeping with past trends in which consumers gravitate towards food gifting options from floral arrangements in challenging macroeconomic environments. Unlike a year ago, when there was an unprecedented pull-forward in holiday demand due to the global supply chain challenges, we had anticipated that customers would revert to their historical shopping patterns and shop much closer to the holidays, and that is what we experienced.

Beginning in October, we witnessed a very promotional retail environment and those trends continued throughout the holiday period. Additionally, with some of our brands that offer a lower price point and appeal to a lower income customer, we noticed that customers appear to be more price sensitive and were waiting for deals. We strategically utilized promotional pricing throughout the holiday period to entice customers, while simultaneously reducing other offers, such as free shipping, that were not as impactful in the current economic environment. Moving forward to November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were, once again, big days for us and represented a kick-off to the holiday shopping season. In fact, PersonalizationMall had its biggest revenue day ever on Cyber Monday.

From now, we continue to see demand build throughout the month of December with some of our greatest volume days coming during the two weeks before Christmas. Customers traded up to higher value, higher price point assortments within our food business, with the largest gains coming in at price points that were over $100. We also saw customers gravitate towards our prepared meal offerings that make their lives and entertaining easier. Our heat and serve meals, appetizers and side dishes allow customers to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends. And our charcuterie and cheese assortments also saw a nice growth as more customers began to entertain for the holidays once again as compared to the past couple of years.

All told, Harry & David set new records for this holiday season, including: its biggest sale day ever in December, breaking a record that was set in the pandemic year of 2020; its first $3 million Mobile Day, as more customers shifted from desktop and tablet into mobile; and record sales of our award-winning wines, all resulting in a record sales quarter for the brand, sustaining the growth that we have seen over the past few years. Cheryl's saw strong performance from the holiday assortment, which included the introduction of candy cane, maple syrup and cinnamon swirl cookies, helping offset softer everyday sales earlier in the quarter. And Wolferman's grew its e-commerce business in part benefiting from a 6% increase in new customers. Turning to our floral business.

We continue to leverage our strong assortment of products and brands to meet our customers' needs. We saw a strong growth in holiday plants that grew 10% over the prior-year period and various floral and sweets pairings that include offerings from 1-800-Flowers and Shari's Berries saw strong double-digit growth. However, as the floral business does not have the large spike at holiday, these successes were unable to offset the lower demand for everyday gifting throughout the quarter. Additionally, while our direct-to-consumer business across the enterprise remained fairly resilient to macroeconomic pressures this quarter, our B2B business was not immune. Our corporate gifting business saw demand soften as companies began looking for more opportunities to cut expenses.

And as more employees shifted to hybrid work environments over the past year, companies began hosting holiday parties once again in lieu of corporate gifting. While corporate gifting remains under pressure today, it is a focus of ours and we see growth opportunities and market share gains in the future. Our second quarter performance also benefited from our marketing efforts. We are transforming our company from being a purely transactional e-commerce company towards developing deeper relationships with customers through content and community. Our focus is on inspiring our customers to give more and to build better and more meaningful relationships in their lives. We've built a company on knowing that people are naturally compelled to give, and it's no coincidence that we've found our best customers to be the ones who enjoy giving the most.

Our initiatives include our weekly Celebrations Pulse email newsletters, our experiential programs, such as floral design classes and expanded content development across multiple social channels. Through these initiatives, we are focused on nurturing our relationship with existing customers, growing our multi-category customer cohort to increase their purchase frequency, and defining our company as the preferred destination for all of our customers' gifting needs. As could be expected, net sales per customer are highest amongst our multi-category customers, followed by our 1.4 million Celebrations Passport members. Turning to our margins. During the second quarter, as we anticipated, our margins improved on lower inbound freight costs and strategic pricing initiatives.

Flower, Bouquet, Gift
Flower, Bouquet, Gift

Photo by Angelina Jollivet on Unsplash

As Bill will discuss further, we expect this trend to continue in the second half of this year and into next year. As these costs continue to moderate, we anticipate that our margins will return to the historical levels over the next few years. As such, we expect to see a substantial recovery in EBITDA. In summary, we anticipate that certain macro trends would help us and indeed they have. While they have not reverted to their pre-COVID levels, certain cost inputs continue to be favorable, which gives us confidence in our ability to improve margins in the future. Based on our second quarter performance, and in particular, our gross margin improvement and reduction in operating expenses, we are increasing our fiscal '23 adjusted EBITDA guidance to be in a range of $80 million to $85 million.

As we look to the balance of the year, we are focused on executing for the upcoming holiday period. We expect the consumer to remain cautious in this environment and reduce their spend on everyday gifting occasions, while continuing to spend for the major holidays. Even in an uncertain environment, we are confident that customers see value in our unique and one-of-a-kind of gifts that make the perfect solution no matter who you are shopping for. As we look beyond Valentine's Day to the spring, we're focused on our Giving is the Gift campaign. From friends, family, teachers and caregivers, this is a great time to remind those in your life that you appreciate all that they do for you and your family or business. Before I turn it over to Bill for the financial review, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the newest addition to our family of brands.

We are excited to welcome Things Remembered to our all-star roster. This is a perfect example of a tuck-in acquisition that enables us to further expand our leadership position and product offerings in the personalization category. Things Remembered is very complementary to PersonalizationMall and significantly grows the number and variety of personalized products that we can offer to our customers to help celebrate every occasion with personalized masterpieces. We acquired the Things Remembered brand and related IP, including their customer lists and certain assets, for approximately $5 million shortly after the second quarter ended. This addition perfectly illustrates how our e-commerce platform was built for rapid growth, as we seamlessly incorporate complementary brands onto our platform and grow them profitably.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Bill for his financial review.

A - Bill Shea: Thank you, Chris. As Chris highlighted, our second quarter performance was solid, benefiting from the resiliency of our Gourmet Foods & Gift Basket business. We were able to generate adjusted EBITDA of $131.4 million and offset the 4.8% revenue decline by improving gross margins and by managing our cost structure. Gross margin improvement was led by 170 basis point increase within our Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets business, which benefited from our strategic pricing initiatives; lower year-over-year ocean freight costs that continue to trend favorably; a more stable labor market, which enabled us to reduce overtime pay; and our logistics optimization efforts that leverages our full distribution network to reduce shipping zones and deliver products closer to the recipients.

Furthermore, our warehouse automation efforts have enabled us to meaningfully improve efficiencies. Our Hebron, Ohio facility is in the second year since we installed automation, and we processed over 1.8 million packages in December, increasing throughput by 8% over last year while reducing expenses. And, we completed our next phase of automation in our Atlanta, Georgia facility that enabled us to fulfill orders for multiple food brands and increase throughput by 42% for the month of December over last year. Longer-term, we believe that we will gradually restore our gross margins to their historical levels and leverage the significant top-line growth of the past few years to drive bottom-line results. You may recall that the Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets business was the most impacted by the negative macro cost inputs for the past 18 months.

Our Consumer Floral & Gifts segment was less impacted, and thus its recovery is subject to certain macro trends that have not yet improved. Now, let's review our key metrics for the second quarter. Total net revenues declined 4.8% to $897.9 million as compared to revenues of $943 million in the prior year. Gross profit margin for the quarter improved 90 basis points from 40.1% to 41%, driven by the aforementioned improvements in our Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets business. Operating expenses were 28.1% of total sales as compared to 27.9% in the prior-year period. On a dollar basis, operating expenses declined $10.1 million, primarily reflecting lower marketing costs, as we shifted our advertising investments to lower cost, higher return on investment areas of the marketing funnel.

As a result, our second quarter adjusted EBITDA was $131.4 million as compared with adjusted EBITDA of $133.1 million a year ago. Net income was $82.5 million or $1.27 per share, and adjusted net income was $82.7 million or $1.28 per share, compared with net income of $88.5 million or $1.34 per share and adjusted net income of $88.6 million or $1.34 per share in the prior-year period. Regarding our segment results. Our Gourmet Foods & Gift Baskets segment revenues decreased 0.4% to $588.4 million compared with $590.9 million in the prior year. Revenue benefitted from the resiliency of our consumer food gifting businesses, which helped mitigate some of the softness in our corporate gifting business. This segment's gross profit margin increased 170 basis points to 41% from 39.3%, benefiting from our strategic pricing initiatives, lower inbound transportation costs, improved labor availability and our automation efforts.

This segment's contribution margin was $123.5 million compared with $110.5 million a year ago. In our Consumer Floral & Gifts segment, revenue decreased 12.1% to $277 million compared with $315.1 million in the prior-year period. This decline is reflective of the softness we have been experiencing in everyday gifting and a shift by our customers from floral gifts towards our gourmet food gifts during the holiday period. Gross profit margin decreased to 40.5% compared with 41.3% in the prior-year period, primarily due to higher fulfillment costs and outbound transportation costs. Segment contribution margin was $27.9 million compared with $38.2 million in the prior-year period. In our BloomNet segment, revenues for the quarter decreased 13.4% to $32.9 million compared with $37.9 million in the prior-year period.

Profit margin of 42.2% was flat with the prior year. Segment contribution margin was $9.3 million compared with $11.9 million in the prior-year period. Turning to our balance sheet. Our cash and investment position was $189.7 million at the end of the second quarter. Inventory was $201.1 million and with inventory of $191.1 million at the end of last year's second quarter. In terms of debt, we had $152.8 million in term debt and no borrowings under our revolving credit facility. (ph) guidance for fiscal 2023. This morning, we increased our fiscal 2023 guidance based on our second quarter performance. Before I share our views, it's important to note that the current macro economy is still highly unpredictable, making it difficult to forecast consumer behavior with any certainty in this environment.

After growing revenues 77% over the last three fiscal years, we expect revenues to decline in the mid-single-digit range in fiscal 2023 on cautious consumer behavior. We expect to mitigate the impact of the revenue decline on our earnings through: our strategic pricing programs, a moderation of certain cost inputs, and the investments we have and continue to make in our business platform. As a result, we expect to continue to gradually improve gross margins and bottom-line results during the latter half of the current fiscal year. Based on these assumptions and our year-to-date performance, we now expect adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $80 million to $85 million. We expect to generate more than $75 million in free cash flow in the current year, representing an improvement of more than $135 million as compared to a year ago as we continue to sell through our inventory balance.

I will now turn the call back to Chris.

A - Chris McCann: Thanks, Bill. To recap our performance this quarter, we had a successful holiday season. However, consumers continue to be challenged by inflationary pressures. We believe that the macro environment will remain challenging throughout the remainder of our fiscal year and are proactively addressing these trends with compelling high-value bundle assortments that appeal to a wide variety of customers. Nonetheless, we remain very bullish about our long-term prospects. Our foundation built on our all-star family of brands is strong and positions us to perform well as the macro environment improves. The diversification of our portfolio helps mitigate and provides resiliency to seasonality. Our core customer remains loyal, and we continue to deepen our relationships with them through our innovative marketing and engagement efforts.

This is what distinguishes us in the marketplace, because we care about nurturing our relationships with our customers. As I noted earlier, we built the company on knowing that people are naturally compelled to give, and it's no coincidence that we've found our best customers to be the ones who enjoy giving the most. A single thread runs through all the giving, it brings joy to everyone involved, and that's why we say, Giving is the Gift. Now, I'd like to open the call for any questions that you may have. Thank you.

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