BWX raising $50m for manufacturing plant

Sukin skincare brand owner BWX has launched a $50 million equity raising to build a new manufacturing facility in Victoria following a year of strong earnings growth.

The company on Thursday released unaudited full-year figures for the 12 months to June 30 showing its full-year unaudited profit net profit after tax jumped 48 per cent to $14.1 million as it pivoted to hygiene products during the pandemic.

The company said its revenue was up 25 per cent to $187.6 million, and its pre-tax earnings were up 30 per cent to $27.5 million as online sales grew during the second half.

“All core brands performed well and we continued to gain market share, buoyed by their embedded connection with consumers and non-discretionary attributes,” said group chief executive officer David Fenlon.

Beyond Sukin, which BWX calls the number one natural skincare brand in Australia, the company also owns the Andalou Naturals, Mineral Fusion and Nourished Life lines of cosmetics and skincare products.

The equity raising will consist of a fully underwritten institutional placement at $3.40 per share – a 7.1 per cent discount to Wednesday’s closing price – that would raise $40 million, plus a $10 million share purchase plan.

BWX shares are currently in a trading halt.

It said that $33.7 million of the equity raising would go towards building the manufacturing facility and support office.

Three sites for the facility, all in Victoria along growth routes, are under consideration.

Once complete by December 2021, it would have four highly automated, high-speed production lines – compared with BWX’s current nine semi-automatic low-speed lines – enabling the company to triple its manufacturing capacity.

“Importantly, this initiative supports local manufacturing and Australian jobs at a time when the retail landscape is being heavily disrupted, and as more companies look to future-proof their business models,” BWX chief operations officer Rory Gration said.

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