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Peloton hits its first big hurdle as the company grapples with growing pains

By Tom Walker    27 Aug 2021
Peloton said it is lowering the price of its original Peloton Bike across all of its markets to US$1,495 / Peloton
Shares in Peloton have fallen after the company revealed it was cutting the price of its original Bike to US$1,495
Results for Q4 saw a loss of US$313.2m against profits of US$89.1m last year
Peloton also predicts its expenses will increase during 2022, impacting margins
The company recalled its treadmill recently in the US, following the death of a child

Shares in Peloton have fallen after the company revealed fourth-quarter losses. It also said that tactical changes to the business will hit profits until 2023.

Fourth-quarter results saw the company reporting losses of US$313.2m against profits of US$89.1m a year ago in spite of revenues having increased 54 per cent to US$936.9m.

Peloton is lowering the price of its original Peloton Bike across all markets to US$1,495 (€1,495, £1,350 GBP) – it's also introducing a longer, 43-month, 0 per cent financing term option for Bike+ and Tread across all regions.

In its financial update to investors, Peloton said: "In the near term, our profitability will be impacted by the price decrease in our original Bike, significant increases in commodity costs and freight rate increases, a sales-mix shift to Tread, investments in marketing to broaden our appeal, accelerated investments in new products and features, investments to scale our member support and logistics operations, and significant investments in systems to support our growth.

"Looking ahead, we expect to return to Adjusted EBITDA profitability for full year 2023.

"Connected Fitness Margin in Q1 will also be significantly impacted by last-mile delivery costs, given the seasonality in our business.

"Peloton’s last-mile logistics is an important aspect of our member experience, but the fixed investments in warehouses, vehicles and people in our delivery network are carried throughout the year.

"Therefore, we will experience fixed-cost inefficiencies during our smaller volume first quarter, but expect significant leverage of these expenses in the remaining quarters of FY 2022."

Following the announcement, shares in Peloton fell by 15 per cent (to US$97), before recovering to around US$107 at the close of markets.

Peloton was one of the big "winners" of the pandemic, as people flocked to connected and digital fitness products and services as health clubs and studios were forced to close their doors.

Sales of Peloton products surged during 2020 and into 2021, more than doubling to US$4bn in the year to 30 June 2021, however, it recalled its treadmills in the US, following the death of a child, resulting in a significant financial and reputational hit.

To read Peloton's letter to investors in full, click here.

Peloton 
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