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The Hut Group moves into the black after 30% sales growth

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The Hut Group has reported a bottom-line profit after twelve months in which its sales rose by 30%, year-on-year.

The online retailer, whose 15 sites include, and, today said in a trading update that sales rose by 30.4% to £145.3m in the year to December 31 2012, up from £111.4m in 2011. Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax and writedowns rose by 130% to £10.1m, from £4.4m the previous year. At the bottom line, it reported pre-tax profits of £0.3m, compared to a loss of £12.7m in 2011.

The Hut Group said it continued to focus on repeat sales of high margin products to lifestyle and health and beauty consumers, after moving out of white label operations and lower margin entertainment products. “Strong progress” made in 2012 continued in 2013, it said.

Just over a third (35%) of The Hut Group’s income came from sales of own-brand products, while 36% of sales were made overseas.

“The growth in both our own-branded products, as well as our rapid expansion overseas, is presenting the group with some significant opportunities in our principal operating categories of lifestyle and health and beauty,” said Matthew Moulding, chief executive.

Incoming chairman Richard Pennycook said: “The group’s model is showing itself to be both scalable and disruptive, with international markets a particular opportunity.”

During the year the company integrated all its sites, and ongoing investment in its in-house developed platform is currently focusing on developing a new data warehouse and analytics cube, a new mobile platform and an internal payment gateway, complete with international payment options.

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