Delfi Limited has reported EBITDA of US$18.0 million ($24.0 million) for the 1QFY2021 ended March, 6.0% lower than EBITDA of US$19.1 million in the 1QFY2020, as a result of lower sales and gross margins.

The “encouraging” results for the quarter reflects the ongoing recovery for the company since the 3QFY2020, says the company in its business update for the 1QFY2021.

This was mitigated partly by lower operating expenses.

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Q-o-q, EBITDA rose 37.4% from the US$13.1 million reported in the 4QFY2020.

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EBITDA margin for the quarter stood at 15.0%, compared to the 15.1% achieved in the same period the year before.

Revenue for the 1QFY2021 fell 5.7% y-o-y but rose 14.4% q-o-q to US$119.4 million, marginally lower than 1QFY2020's revenue of US$126.6 million, which was pre-Covid and considered a “relatively strong” quarter.

The recovery reflects the progress made in the economies in the region where Delfi operates, after the initial impact of the lockdowns due to Covid-19.

Group revenue fell during the 1QFY2021 mainly due to a 7.4% sales decline in Indonesia, offset by growth of 1.3% and 1.9% for the Baking and Breakfast, as well as Food Service segments respectively.

The group reported a net cash inflow of US$6.5 million in the quarter, increasing its cash balance to US$72.1 million as at end-March.

The higher cash balance arose from a higher free cash flow (FCF) of US$35.2 million as the group continued its tight cash flow management.

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Looking ahead, Delfi says the macroeconomic and operating environments in its markets will continue to remain challenging due to the uncertainties and persisting challenges, particularly from the uneven or slow pace of vaccination rollouts, reinstatement of lockdowns and the possible onset of new variants.

That said, the company says its strong balance sheet and cash flow generation means they are “well placed to tackle the uncertainties ahead” and should achieve growth in its business albeit at a slower rate in the short term.

It adds that it continues to be “cautiously optimistic” that its performance in the FY2021 should be better compared to the FY2020.

Shares in Delfi closed 0.5 cent higher or 0.6% up at 81.5 cents on May 18.