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Local Bounti wants to expand further

US (WA): New Pasco lettuce facility officially opened

Two days ago, Local Bounti Corporation (NYSE: LOCL) celebrated the opening of its new controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility in Pasco, Washington, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event was attended by industry leaders, local officials, and members of the community.

Craig Hurlbert, CEO of Local Bounti, stated, "We are proud to officially call Pasco home with the opening of this latest facility. Our state-of-the-art CEA facility, supported by our innovative Stack & Flow Technology®, enables us to meet existing customer demand in Washington, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest. We are excited about the opportunities this facility creates, not only for our company but also for the local economy and the environment."

The facility is expected to create over 40 jobs in the Tri-Cities region, focusing on growing and selling Local Bounti's greenhouse fresh line of packaged leafy greens, including spring mix, butter lettuce, romaine crisp, and green leaf.

Jacob Gonzalez, Director of Community & Economic Development for the City of Pasco, commented, "Pasco extends a warm welcome to Local Bounti in our community and the Tri-Cities region. Their dedication to integrating into the community, creating jobs, and prioritizing sustainable practices represents a substantial investment in Pasco's future."

Spanning three acres, the facility completed its Food Safety certification in April and will begin shipping to its first national retail customer's northwest division this month. The addition of the new facility strengthens Local Bounti's distribution to directly service local retail distribution centers within the Pacific Northwest region.

This week, Local Bounti also released its Q1 results. The company's progress and plans indicate significant growth and expansion in various areas. Local Bounti is expanding its market penetration in the Pacific Northwest and Texas, with new retail customers including Albertsons Seattle and Brookshire's. The company is also shipping its first customer deliveries from its Washington and Texas facilities in the second quarter of 2024.

Financial growth and forecast
Sales for the first quarter of 2024 increased by 25% to $8.4 million compared to the same period last year. The company expects to achieve full-year sales of $50 to $60 million, doubling its revenue from 2023. Local Bounti's facilities are operating at heightened levels of production, particularly the Georgia facility, which has seen a 50% increase in production since December 2023.

Expansion plans
The company plans to expand its existing facilities and build a new greenfield facility in the Midwest. Construction for these expansions is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2024. Additionally, Local Bounti is planning to open a new facility in the Midwest to meet growing retail demand and improve service to retail partners in the region.

Product development and distribution

Local Bounti is expanding its product offerings, including Grab-and-Go Salad Kits and baby leaf assortments, to meet increasing customer demand. The company expects to introduce several new salad kit flavors and baby leaf varieties in the coming quarters.

Patent and technology
In February 2024, Local Bounti was granted a patent for its Stack & Flow Technology, which combines vertical and greenhouse growing technologies to optimize efficiency and yield. This technology allows for higher yield and lower operating costs compared to traditional farming methods.

Capital structure and financing
As of March 31, 2024, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $14.7 million and expects to close on financing commitments totaling $228 million in the second quarter of 2024. This funding will support the company's expansion projects and lower its cost of capital.

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