Boohoo sales surge again, sees successful Oasis, Warehouse integration
A day after Asos announced strong trading at the end of last year, Boohoo Group came out with its own good news on Thursday as it said the four months to December 31 saw sales soaring by 40%.
That’s impressive by any standards with revenue reaching £660.8 million for the autumn and festive seasons, while the full year so far (a 10-month period) saw it rising 42% to £1.477 billion.
And it performed well globally with the US business powering ahead in particular. UK sales rose 40% to £357.2 million in the four months and were up 38% for the 10 months at £787.4 million. Sales in the rest of Europe were up 30% to £90.4 million and 36% to £214.1 million in the two periods.
In the US, as mentioned, sales were really strong with a 52% rise to £110.6 million at the end of the year, although this was lower than the 67% growth for the 10 months. And in the rest of the world, four-month sales rose 20% to £45.5 million with by 18% for a 10-month hike to £105.8 million.
That said, the gross margin for the four months of 53% was down 50 bps year-on-year
As well as the geographic growth, the company said all of its brands grew too at a time that included a “successful integration and relaunch of [the] Oasis and Warehouse brands”.
Following the strong peak trading performance, group revenue growth for the financial year to 28 February is expected to be 36-38%, ahead of its previous guidance of 28-32%.
AGENDA FOR CHANGE AND NEW WAREHOUSE
Boohoo also said it made progress on its Agenda for Change programme following scandals about issues in its supply chain last summer. And it’s close to finalising an extension of UK warehousing capacity, with a new site to open in April, creating up to 1,000 jobs.
The site is intended to be used by the Nasty Gal, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis and Warehouse brands, with a transition expected over the course of the first half. This will free up capacity within its existing network as it develops these facilities “to support future expansion plans”.
On the Agenda for Change programme, having appointed Sir Brian Leveson PC to provide independent oversight of activity last November, Boohoo said it’s “making excellent progress as it works to implement recommendations”.
It has beefed up its governance and teams impacting this area and also made significant investments to strengthen the internal Responsible Sourcing, Compliance and Sustainability teams. And it’s “making good progress towards the appointment of an additional Independent Non-Executive Director with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) experience”.
Some 64 names have been removed from the group's UK supplier list, with further investigations ongoing and Bureau Veritas and Verisio are on board to support the ethical audits of suppliers and sub-contractors. Enquiry and enforcement specialists are also now headed by former deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Tim Godwin to support Sir Brian's independent enquiries.
And a development that straddles both general business investment and the Agenda for Change, good progress is also being made on Boohoo's "state-of-the art” manufacturing facility based in Leicester. This is expected to launch later this year, and “will also provide a hub for community outreach”.
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