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LONDON — Investors cheered Boohoo.com, the British fast-fashion site that saw its full-year profits nearly quadruple to 8.4 million pounds, or $13.4 million, sending the stock price up 9.8 percent to 50 pence, or 85 cents, on Thursday.
This story first appeared in the June 13, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Boohoo, a pure-play e-tailer whose core market is 14 to 35 year olds and focus is on value fashion, said sales were up 63 percent to 109.8 million pounds, or $174.6 million, in the year to Feb. 28.
The results were Boohoo’s first since it was listed on the London Stock Exchange in mid-March.
The company’s largest market remains the U.K., where revenue grew by 60 percent. Europe was up by 78 percent and the rest of the world by 65 percent.
Sales continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace: Revenue in the three months to May 31 was up 24 percent to 30.7 million pounds, or $51.5 million, according to the company, while at constant exchange rates it rose 28 percent.
All Boohoo figures have been converted at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer.
Boohoo has local-language sites in French and Spanish, while a Scandinavian one is planned for later this year. During the 12-month period, the U.S. market trebled in size and a local office in New York is being planned. The intention is to recruit a small team to push local marketing, Boohoo said.
“The past year has been an exciting one, and we are very proud of the growth we have seen in both our U.K. and international markets,” Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane, joint chief executive officers said Thursday. “The launch of new product categories, investment in our warehouse and IT infrastructure and, of course, the investment and development of our teams all support our future growth.”
Analysts were upbeat and said there is ample room to expand. Kate Calvert of Investec in London said in a report Thursday that Boohoo had an “underrated competitive advantage in sourcing and supply chain, operating in an attractive structural growth market globally.
“Its IPO gives Boohoo the clout to accelerate a multistage infrastructure investment plan designed to support a longer-term, one billion pounds [or $1.68 billion at current exchange] sales target, and the marketing muscle to build scale internationally,” she said.
Calvert also noted that during the last year, 47 percent of Boohoo’s traffic came from mobile devices, versus 29 percent in 2013, while the figure rose to 56 percent in May, reflecting the young demographic of customers. Active customers, meanwhile, are up by 54 percent year-on-year to 2.3 million.
She noted that Boohoo is rapidly expanding its warehouse facilities, and that it can now support gross annual sales of 350 million pounds, or $587 million, and will extend its warehouse further, which will enable it to take gross capacity to about 500 million pounds, or $839 million, in sales.
Boohoo said it carries about 9,000 styles, with dresses representing more than 30 percent of the product range. The main line dresses are priced between 12 pounds and 25 pounds, or $20 and $42, and are developed to be both high fashion and low cost.
The company designs, sources, markets and sells its own-brand clothing, shoes and accessories.
BoohooMan was introduced in fall 2013 and comprises “a mix of high fashion and style steals,” according to the company. Men’s wear grew by 117 percent compared with the previous year.
The plus-size range, Boohoo plus, was introduced earlier this year, and the company said it plans to expand that offering to satisfy demand. A petite range is set for later this year.