Worth over £11bn, the global performance nutrition market is projected to grow at 8% per annum. Future opportunities to extend the market include plant protein and the blurring of protein snacking into the mainstream.
Health, fitness, and wellness as a broad sector is continuing to grow at a macro level. The COVID-19 pandemic, while affecting the short term, has heightened awareness of the importance of health and fitness.
We aim to be the world’s number one premium performance nutrition business. Our unparalleled relationships with elite teams around the world, together with our world-class in-house scientific expertise, are at the core of this. Elite insight converted into quality performance nutrition products drives our two premium brands and we enjoy sector-leading gross margins.
Investment in our digital platform has delivered clear leadership for SiS in the UK endurance nutrition market and gives us global reach. Our PhD brand is built on the same platform and our science-led premium approach is designed to profitably differentiate us from scale protein powder players.
Our very strong retail presence provides brand awareness and trial and is highly cash generative. Investment in the supply chain underpins gross margin and ensures quality is of the highest standard.
The medium-term ambition is to deliver £100m of revenues with a healthy EBITDA and strong cash generation.
SiS PLC has a proven growth strategy, with the SiS brand growing revenue at 25% CAGR for nine years, including the 2020 pandemic disruption. We acquired PhD in December 2018, and in 2019 the business grew revenue by 23%, a record for the brand. The pandemic saw a revenue decline of 4%, but 2021 recovered to a strong 19% growth.
The Board believe that strong revenue growth can be consistently delivered, given our proven growth model.
Win in Science, Product and Elites
Our world-class science team heavily engages with elite sports teams across the world. That insight, together with our longstanding relationships with leading scientific institutions, allows us to underpin our products with proven performance claims.
Science is translated into high-quality products by our in-house Win in Product team. Our vertically integrated supply chain means we can rapidly bring innovation to the market. As well as high product quality, owning our supply chain has enabled us to introduce banned substance controls to the highest standard globally.
Consistent investment in brand awareness and targeted brand equity measures has resulted in PhD and SiS being leading premium performance nutrition brands in our domestic market. PhD is also gaining brand awareness in Germany, the Middle East, China, and Japan. SiS has strong awareness with endurance athletes in most major global markets.
Premium, science-led positioning underpins our pricing strategy, contributing to the high gross margin enjoyed by the Group.
Consumer insight is key to our rapidly growing digital business, and over the last year, we have invested in technology to drive this insight. Our customer data platform delivered higher revenue per visit immediately. We will continue to invest in the platform to further enhance the quality of our revenue stream and provide deeper insights to the Win in Product and Premium Brand teams.
We already see a higher return on our marketing investment, resulting in marketing spend as a percentage of revenue beginning to trend downwards.
Global Online Scale
Over the last three years, we have invested significantly in talent and technology, resulting in a highly effective platform for our phd.com and scienceinsport.com websites. These operate in the USA, UK, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Growth is consistently strong, and advances in our Data Science capability are intended to add to this momentum.
Our business with Amazon is growing strongly and profitability in key markets including the USA, UK, Germany, and Italy. Third-party marketplace is a strategic growth channel for the Group. We have a healthy and growing business in China through online platforms, including Tmall.
Efficient Supply Chain
The gross margin from our existing supply chain is market-leading, given the advantages of our vertical integration and increasingly favourable product and channel mix.
Our new Blackburn facility will open in 2022, and this will give us the platform to improve margins over the strategic timeframe steadily.
In addition to efficiencies, having an integrated supply chain enables us to offer best in world banned substance systems to assure consumers they are competing safely.
Underpinning our strategic flywheel is our retail business. Both in the UK, where we are a significant presence in grocers and high street, and international markets, this channel is strongly cash generative. In addition, retail presence drives awareness and product trial.
We have a proven growth flywheel, with two premium brands underpinned by world-class science and elite usage. Online scale and data science are fuelling strong, high margin growth in key markets. Our supply chain is becoming increasingly efficient, which is reflected in gross margin.
Our broad strategic direction is to continue to grow well ahead of the sector norm. Supply chain, product mix and channel mix will underpin an upward trend in gross margin. Data science and technology will see marketing spend trend downwards. Scale and technology will see more efficient logistics spending, and we are starting to leverage the cost base after a period of investment.
The aim is to be a growth-first business, with cash generation and profitability moving upwards through the current strategic cycle.