Latest figures from The Hut Group (THS) show a health and beauty-focused retail group that now makes two-thirds of its sales overseas, and plans to invest further in international fulfilment over the course of 2019.
Group sales of £916m in 2018 were 24% up on 2017, with international sales making up 66% of its revevenues. Earnings before interest, one-off costs and tax (EBITDA) came in at £91m, 31% more than £69m it made a year earlier. THG now sells through 166 localised websites and delivers to 169 countries around the world, selling in 31 languages and 39 currencies, and supported by 37 payment options. More than half (59%) of sales came from own-brand sales during the year.
During the course of its last year, THG improved its fulfilment network around the world, designing and building a warehouse and manufacturing facility in Poland. During the current year, it aims to add smaller fulfilment centres in Asia, Australasia, and India, as well as opening two new sites in the US.
The retailer also invested £82m in strategic acquisitions in order to improve its in-house commerce platform and to enable it to grow international sales. Those acquisitions included a language translation and localisation service company, well as as beauty brand Eyeko and beauty research and development business Acheson & Acheson, which has its own beauty brand.
The retail group has recently invested offline as well as online, buying sites where it can showcase its health and beauty brands, and starting to build a 1m sq ft business campus close to Manchester Airport. While its primary focus is in health and beauty brands, The Hut Group also owns luxury and lifestyle brands, from The Hu and Coggles, to zavvi and Probikekit.
Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive officer of The Hut Group, said: “This has been another landmark year for THG. Our strategic investments to develop our technology, infrastructure, brands and people, have delivered exceptional global growth with 66% of our sales achieved internationally.
“THG’s investments during 2018 have been followed by further investments to date in 2019, resulting in over £850m ($1.1bn) of investment across beauty, technology and infrastructure since 2016 and the vote on Brexit. This scale of investment propels THG’s proposition across global markets, deepening our strategic advantage and enabling us to digitalise brands at scale.”
Image courtesy of The Hut Group