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Sezzle (ASX:SZL) share price surges on major cost-cutting plan

The Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL) share price has jumped 6% in response to a significant plan to cut costs.

Sezzle is a sizeable buy now, pay later operator. It predominately operates in the US, though it’s expanding to various other regions.

Sezzle’s significant cost-cutting plan

The buy now, pay later business announced that it’s going to reduce its workforce to position the business for long-term growth while establishing a path towards profitability and free cash flow.

Once the workforce reduction has been completed, Sezzle expects to achieve approximately US$10 million of annual run-rate cost savings (namely salaries and benefits). Investors seemingly li

The workforce reduction will amount to approximately 20%, a fifth, of positions in North America going. This will occur across nearly all business operations to streamline reporting structures and create clearer lines of accountability.

To enact these workforce cuts, it’s expected to cost approximately US$0.5 million in one-off cash charges that will be expensed in FY22.

Management comments

The Sezzle CEO and Executive Chair Charlie Youakim said:

Sezzle has experienced significant growth in its history and is now at an importance juncture, as we look to take decisive steps toward profitability and free cash flow. Sezzle’s growth prospects remain unchanged, and these actions position the company to maximise its long-term success.

These decisions are not easily made as we greatly value our team members. We thank our team for their efforts during this process.

My thoughts on the Sezzle share price and this announcement

Being profitable and cash flow positive is very important in this period where interest rates are rising, share prices are much lower and access to debt is not as easy as before.

Over the last six months, the Sezzle share price has fallen more than 75%. I’d have thought the Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) takeover bid would give Sezzle shares a bit of a boost, but with Zip continuing to fall, Sezzle shareholders will be getting less value if the takeover goes through.

With how far it’s fallen, there may be an opportunity here. But stronger competition, more regulation and rising interest rates has made the business less attractive. It’s not one of the ASX growth shares I’m looking at right now.

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At the time of publishing, Jaz does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.
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