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The Hut Group reports 42% first-half sales growth as shoppers continue to shift online

Image courtesy of THG

The Hut Group (THG) today reported 42% growth in first half sales as customers did more of their shopping online, although pre-tax losses widened as costs rose. THG said today that it is to spin out its beauty division, which includes Lookfantastic – ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research – and will float it as a separate business next year. 

The update came as THG reported £958.8m in group revenue in the half-year to June 30, 41.9% up on the same time last year. Revenues at THG Beauty, which includes Lookfantastic, grew by 55.9% to £460.8m, while its nutrition division saw sales grow by 27.3% to £328.m, and sales in its ingenuity business – which launches and operates websites for third-party clients – grew by 39.7% to £85.8m, with Ingenuity Commerce revenues of £18.3m up by 165.5%. The Ingenuity division launched 50 fully serviced websites in 22 markets for new and existing clients. More than 95% of these used THG’s own fulfilment network around the world. Sales from its OnDemand division grew by 45.6% to £51.6m. 

At the top-line the business reported losses, before tax and exceptionals, of £14.6m. But one-off costs of £66.7m, including higher distribution costs during the Covid-19 pandemic and costs related to acquisitions, took the THG to a bottom-line pre-tax loss of £81.3m. That’s up from a loss of £49.9m a year earlier. 

THG chief executive and executive chairman Matthew Moulding says: “”I am delighted to announce a strong first half performance across all divisions, as we continue to invest significantly in support of our strategic growth ambitions. This investment is across our entire business, including our infrastructure, namely our recently-opened ICON campus and our global distribution network, in our Ingenuity platform, in building leading digital brands, and most importantly, in our people.

“In May, we announced the financial and trading partnership opportunity with SoftBank, one of the world’s leading technology investors. We are only at the start of this relationship, but we are pleased to have already established multiple live commercial partnerships between the SoftBank portfolio and our Ingenuity platform. We continue to see an acceleration in levels of enquiry from global enterprises looking to leverage the Ingenuity platform, and I believe the global growth opportunity for Ingenuity to be unparalleled.”

The group also launched its sustainability 2030 strategy and says it will outline its key priorities and commitments in the coming weeks.  

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