Weber CEO describes new good grill lineup as inventory pops in market debut

Weber Grills has plans to launch a new line this year that redefines propane grilling, CEO Chris Scherzinger told CNBC on Thursday ahead of the company’s public listing. 

On “Squawk on the Street,” Scherzinger said the internet-connected line will be able to measure propane levels, alert users when the tank is running low and “get you a refill.”

“You can have a whole new business model now for Weber driving subscriptions, consumer engagement in between grilling experiences, all kinds of new ways that we can take this category,” Scherzinger said, adding that the company plans to unveil the new “game-changer” line in about three months.

Weber shares, which trade under the ticker symbol “WEBR” on the New York Stock Exchange, were up more than 16% as of Thursday morning. Weber’s debut comes about a week after rival grill maker Traeger raised $424 million in its IPO.

Weber raised about $250 million in its initial public offering on Thursday, selling about 17.9 million shares at $14 apiece, according to a company statement. That’s less than half the amount it had intended to raise as of last month, when it announced plans to sell 46.88 million shares at between $15 and $17 each, raising up to $797 million at a valuation of about $5 billion.

“We don’t really focus on the day to day or the bumps and the noise. We’re focused on the long term,” Scherzinger said, when asked about the downsized IPO. “What we’re doing is investing in growth, and the investors we’ve talked to are super excited about our runway going forward.”

Weber sells gas, electric and charcoal grills. Based in Illinois, it operates in 78 countries around the world and has 4,710 global retail partners. In the six months ending March 31, Weber recorded revenues of $963.3 million, up 62% from the same window a year earlier. Net income jumped 213% year over year to $73.8 million in that six-month period, as well.

Scherzinger said the company’s direct-to-consumer and e-commerce initiatives now comprise over 20% of the company’s business and generated more than 65 million visitors to its website last year. Since 2018, Weber’s direct-to-consumer business has had a compounded annual revenue growth rate of 47%, according to its filings with the SEC.

“By a wide margin, we have an average three times lead over the No. 2 player in every country, and in every country, it’s a different No. 2,” Scherzinger said. “It’s driven 70 years of double-digit sales growth, and we’re looking forward to a really long runway for a market of $49 billion in front of us.”

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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