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FILE PHOTO: A Bingo prize of a bag of ingredients to make a traditional chicken dinner is displayed at Coronation Hall in Skegness, Britain March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Shares in meal-kit delivery firm HelloFresh (HFGG.DE) jumped to a record high on Tuesday after it said it expected strong first-quarter sales and profit due to a surge in demand as coronavirus lockdowns prompt more people to cook at home.

HelloFresh shares were up 14.2% at 0725 GMT, making them the biggest gainer on the German mid-cap index .MDAX.

The company, which delivers pre-portioned meal ingredients with recipes to subscribers, has grown rapidly in the United States, outperforming rival Blue Apron (APRN.N), which has also reported a sharp increase in demand due to the coronavirus.

Berlin-based HelloFresh, which makes more than half of its sales in the United States, said late on Monday it expects quarterly revenue of between 685 million and 710 million euros ($755-783 million), while adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) should come in at 55-75 million euros.

Deutsche Bank said that implied revenue growth of up to 69% year-on-year for the quarter, which it said would be the strongest rise for HelloFresh in more than three years.

HelloFresh said uncertainties created by the pandemic meant it was not amending the guidance it gave earlier in the month for 2020 revenue growth of 22% to 27% on a constant currency basis and an adjusted margin of 4-5.5%.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson, editing by Louise Heavens

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via Reuters

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