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UPDATE 1-Germany's HelloFresh aims for annual sales of 10 billion euros mid-term

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Germany’s HelloFresh aims to grow annual sales nearly three times above its targeted 2020 revenue level in the medium term by offering more products and expanding to new geographies, the meal kit delivery company said on Thursday.

Coronavirus-related restaurant closures have helped delivery companies worldwide with shares in HelloFresh skyrocketing 200% since the beginning of the year.

HelloFresh, which serves about five million customers in 14 countries, plans to grow its annual sales to 10 billion euros ($12.14 billion) and double market penetration levels in the medium term, Chief Executive Dominik Richter told a conference call during the company’s Capital Markets Day, without defining what he meant by “medium term”.

In 2019, the company’s currency-adjusted revenue came in at 1.76 billion euros. This year, it expects its sales to grow by 107% to 112%, according to its fifth 2020 sales guidance hike announced late on Wednesday.

Shares in HelloFresh, which delivers boxes with meal ingredients and recipes for customers to prepare dishes at home, were up 14% at 1500 GMT, in their highest surge since October 2019.

HelloFresh will continue expansion to 1-2 new markets per year until 2025, the company’s chief commercial officer Edward Boyes said, adding it already has a “clear pipeline of markets” it plans to launch that should increase its customer number by 10-20 million households over the next couple of years.

An important element of HelloFresh’s strategy to increase market penetration is offering different levels of consumer convenience and the company’s recent acquisition of U.S. ready-made meal delivery firm Factor75 was an important part of that, the CCO said.

The company is also planning to introduce its U.S. brands including Factor75, lower-cost EveryPlate and organic-focused Green Chef in other countries, Boyes added.

$1 = 0.8241 euros Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdansk; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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