Retail

Hut Group lifts revenue forecast as online beauty sales rise


The Hut Group, the Manchester-based ecommerce company, said it now expects revenue for the current year to increase by between 30 and 35 per cent, up from previous guidance of 20 to 25 per cent growth after a strong start to the year.

The company, which floated on the stock market in September, added that revenue in the final quarter of the year to December was £559m, up 51 per cent compared with an estimate of 40 to 45 per cent growth given at the start of that month.

Growth was particularly strong at its online beauty business, where revenues rose 66 per cent to £298m.

Hut Group also announced fresh contract wins and partnerships for its Ingenuity ecommerce technology business, including soft-drinks maker Vimto and paints group Akzo Nobel. However, revenues from Ingenuity are still small in a group context, totalling £40m in the fourth quarter.

Shares in the company are up almost 60 per cent since its initial public offering and its market value, at £7.6bn, is well above the threshold required to trigger large incentive payments to a number of staff, including founder and chief executive Matthew Moulding.

Hut Group shares rose more than 2 per cent after the update on Tuesday morning.

The new forecast from Hut came as Very Group, the credit-based online retailer owned by the Barclay brothers, marked its best Christmas trading period with retail sales up 18 per cent in the seven weeks to December 25.

Homewares and electrical goods were the best sellers for the Liverpool-based retailer, as has been the case for many rivals. Sales in many subcategories rose more than 40 per cent as families spent cash on their homes that might have gone on holidays or meals out.

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