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Boohoo Weathers Supply Chain Failings With 32% Jump in Sales

Boohoo campaign.
Boohoo campaign. (Boohoo)

British online fashion retailer Boohoo weathered negative publicity over its supply chain failings, reporting a 32 percent rise in sales in its latest quarter, benefiting from rising demand as lockdown restrictions eased and the integration of new brands.

Boohoo, which sells clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products aimed at 16 to 40-year olds, said revenue rose 32 percent to £486.1 million ($686.8 million) in the three months to May 31 compared to the same period last year.

“I am delighted with our performance in the first quarter, particularly as it was always going to be challenging to produce strong growth rates on last year, when lockdowns around the globe drove such high traffic to online retailers,” chief executive John Lyttle said.

Shares in the group were down 0.5 percent at 07:24 GMT, extending year-on-year losses to 12 percent and giving the group a market capitalisation of £4.1 billion.

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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.

The group pledged to fix the problems with its ‘Agenda for Change’ programme and in March revealed a major consolidation in its list of British suppliers.

Boohoo reported on the programme on Tuesday, saying it had made “excellent progress.” It said it was on track to publish a global supplier list in September and continued to review its manufacturing supplier base.

Some shareholder advisory groups remain dissatisfied.

Glass Lewis has recommended investors vote against the reappointment to the board of Boohoo co-founder Carol Kane at Friday’s annual general meeting, amid concerns over governance and high pay. It has also recommended investors vote against Boohoo’s remuneration report.

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 said the former Arcadia brands had been successfully integrated into its multi-brand business, adding that a new Debenhams online department store had been launched.

Boohoo maintained its guidance for full year 2021-2022 revenue growth of about 25 percent, with an overall core earnings (EBITDA) margin of 9.5-10 percent.

By James Davey; Editors: Sarah Young, Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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