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Allbirds Q4 losses widen, taps new finance chief

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Allbirds

Footwear and apparel brand Allbirds has reported a widening loss in the fourth quarter of the year as revenue dropped 13.4 percent.

The San Francisco-based company, known for its use of regenerative and natural materials including FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fibre and a proprietary innovation made with sugarcane, made a net loss of 24.9 million dollars in the quarter compared to a loss of 10.4 million dollars the prior year.

That came as revenue dipped 13.4 percent to 84.2 million dollars, which it said was primarily linked to a decrease in the number of orders and an estimated 3.2 million dollar negative impact from foreign exchange rates.

For its first full year as a publicly traded company, Allbirds’ net revenue increased 7.3 percent to 297.8 million dollars, with domestic US revenue up 9.5 percent, primarily driven by sales through its physical store estate.

International revenue, however, remained roughly flat due to various factors including increased inflation and Covid restrictions in Mainland China.

The company made a full-year net loss of 101.4 million dollars compared to a loss of 45.5 million dollars a year earlier.

Transformation plan

Co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger told investors: “2022 marked the end of our first full year as a public company and while we made important progress, the year came to a challenging close, with results below our expectations due to both execution and macro challenges.”

Allbirds was founded in 2016 initially as an online-only footwear brand before expanding into apparel and physical retail.

Zwillinger announced Thursday a transformation plan including four key focus points: to optimise its US stores and slow the pace of openings; to “reignite” product and brand; to evaluate the transition of its international go-to-market strategy; and to improve cost savings and capital efficiency.

Allbirds also announced Thursday the appointment of Annie Mitchell as its new chief financial officer, effective April 24. She succeeds Mike Bufano who is stepping down from the business.

Mitchell joins the company from British sportswear giant Gymshark where she has served since June 2021 as vice president of finance and insights. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at Adidas, most recently as CFO of Adidas North America.