British online fashion retailer Boohoo reported a 37 percent jump in full-year core earnings on Wednesday, benefiting from the rise in digital shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The group, which sells clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products targeted at 16- to 40-year-olds, made adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £173.6 million ($241.4 million) in the year to February 28.
That was ahead of analysts’ average forecast of £171.3 million and more than the £126.6 million made in 2019-2020 financial year.
Unlike rivals that rely on stores which had to shutter for several months during coronavirus lockdowns, Boohoo was able to trade throughout.
Publicity over failings in Boohoo’s supply chain did not appear to dent sales as revenue rose 41 percent to £1.75 billion.
In September, Boohoo accepted all the recommendations of an independent review that found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about working conditions and low pay in factories in the Leicester area.
In March, the group revealed a major consolidation in its supplier base as it published a full list of British manufacturers to meet a pledge on transparency.
In January, Boohoo purchased the Debenhams brand out of administration for £55 million and in February bought the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands from the administrators of Arcadia for £25.2 million.
Boohoo forecast revenue growth for the 2021-2022 year of around 25 percent, with the newly acquired brands expected to deliver approximately five percentage points of this growth.
It said trading in the first few weeks of the new financial year had been “encouraging”.
But it cautioned that the economic outlook remained uncertain and it expected the benefits from reduced returns over the last 12 months to begin to unwind this year, while still experiencing significantly higher carriage and freight costs.
By James Davey; editors: Kate Holton and Edmund Blair.