The Hut Group's Matthew Moulding

LONDON — The Hut Group Thursday announced plans to file for an initial public offering, with an equity value of 4.5 billion pounds. The listing will be on the London Stock Exchange’s main market standard listing.

According to the company, if the IPO proceeds, there will be a free float of at least 20 percent. The plan also includes an offer of new shares to raise 920 million pounds plus a sale of existing shares.

The group said the move follows its steady growth trajectory since it was founded in 2004.

In 2019, revenue rose 24.9 percent, reaching 1.1 billion pounds with adjusted EBITDA of 111.3 million pounds, according to the company. It currently employs 7,000 people and has a portfolio of brands across the beauty and wellness space including Illamasqua, Espa, Eyeko, beauty e-tailer Lookfantastic and Acheson & Acheson, a British contract manufacturer for prestige beauty brands.

It also dabbles in the nutrition market, with its brand Myprotein, which was the largest online direct-to-consumer sports nutrition brand globally in 2019 based on revenue.

“The brands we own today give us leading strategic positions in prestige beauty and nutrition, powered by Ingenuity, our differentiated proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce solution,” said Matthew Moulding, the group’s founder and chief executive officer. “Ingenuity powers not just our brands but those of many other leading consumer brand owners around the world creating a highly resilient, vertically integrated business with significant growth opportunities.”

Its white label tech business has been inking deals worth more than 100 million pounds, developing e-commerce sites for brands including Elemis, Burt’s Bees, Nuxe and By Terry.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, the group continued to grow given the “non-discretionary nature of the nutrition and beauty categories.” In the six months to June 30, 2020, its revenues were 676 million pounds, up 35.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

The company believes it’s well-positioned to continue its upward trajectory despite the dire economic landscape, by benefiting from the growth of the online beauty market, which will be worth 84 billion pounds by 2024, and by expanding its brands’ international footprint.

“We anticipate substantial future growth and expansion across the beauty industry, which will continue to benefit our brands and our web sites. We expect subscription beauty boxes will continue to drive customer acquisition and loyalty, while our own prestige beauty brand portfolio will benefit from premiumization trends and rapid expansion through increased digital penetration and internalization,” added Moulding.

See Also: A Q&A With Matthew Moulding, Founder of The Hut Group

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