The British online fashion group Boohoo has raised full-year forecasts after a better-than-expected 51 percent rise in first-half pre-tax profits to £68.1 million (€74.6m - $87.4m).
Sales for the six months to Aug. 30 rose by 45 percent to £816 million (€894.6m - $1.04bn). The company benefited from being able to continue trading while rivals shuttered during coronavirus-related shutdowns.
Boohoo added that it has made a good start to the second half as momentum carried into September. Sales in the U.K., Boohoo’s biggest market, rose by 37 percent during the first half, while Europe was up by 40 percent and U.S. revenues almost doubled.
The company added the brands Oasis, Warehouse and PrettyLittleThing to its portfolio while active customer numbers in the last 12 months rose by 34 percent to 17.4 million.
Revenues for the full year ending on Feb. 28, 2021 are now forecast to grow by 28-32 percent against previous guidance of 25 percent, while core profit margin is expected to be around 10 percent, versus a prior estimate of 9.5–10 percent.
It warned of growing economic uncertainty including “possible reduced consumer spending” as well as more normal return rates and higher shipping costs to overseas markets along with higher capital and IT spending on automation.
Boohoo attracted unwanted publicity in July over allegations about poor working conditions and low pay at its supply chain in Leicester, England. It held an independent review that identified ”many failings” in the Leicester supply chain and recommended improvements to the company’s corporate governance, compliance and monitoring processes. Boohoo accepted the review’s recommendations and plans to implement them “in full.”