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Boohoo bucks high street woes as sales surge

Press Association
15 January 2019

Online fashion firm Boohoo has shown its high street rivals a clean pair of heels after revealing a 44% surge in sales and upping its annual sales outlook.

The group, which also owns the PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal brands, reported total group revenues of £328.2m for the final four months of 2018, up from £228.2m a year earlier. In the UK – its largest market – revenues rose 33% to £180m.

Its main Boohoo brand saw sales lift 15% to £163.5m, while revenues rose 95% at PrettyLittleThing to £144.2 million and increased 74% at Nasty Gal to £20.6m.

Boohoo said it now expects revenues for the year to 28 February to rise by between 43% and 45%, ahead of its previous guidance of 38% to 43%.

It comes in stark contrast to high street rivals, which endured a tough November in the run-up to the festive season when the weather was unusually warm.

Marks & Spencer last week said it saw like-for-like clothing and home sales drop 2.4% over the 13 weeks to December 29.

Boohoo joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said they were “delighted” with the results for the festive period.

They added: “The global growth opportunity is significant and we will be addressing it in a controlled way – investing in our proposition, operations and infrastructure to capitalise on the opportunity.”

In the company’s international operations, growth was the most marked in America, where sales surged 78% to £70.4m, while sales lifted 57% across the rest of Europe and 35% in the rest of the world.

The update comes after Boohoo booked a 50% rise in sales to £395.3m in the six months to 31 August, while pre-tax profit rocketed 22% to £24.7m.

Boohoo announced earlier this year that Kamani and Kane are to be replaced as joint bosses by John Lyttle, formerly of Primark, from 15 March 2019.

Kamani will become executive chairman, moving him away from the day-to-day running of the business, while Kane stays on as group co-founder and executive director.

Boohoo started life in Manchester in 2006, before snapping up PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal in 2017.

It now has more than 11m customer accounts across its brands worldwide.

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