Online fast fashion giant Boohoo expected to report sales surge

Online fast fashion giant Boohoo is expected to reveal a surge in sales as house-bound shoppers swapped dresses for jogging bottoms next week.

The online retailer will also unveil the initial impact of its rescue deals for the Debenhams and three Arcadia brands – Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis – which it snapped up earlier this year.

Investors will be hopeful that the acquisitions will help to keep up its strong sales momentum when it updates shareholders on Wednesday, May 5.

The Manchester-headquartered group is expected to report a 39% jump in sales to £1.7bn for the full year to the end of February.

“It’s been boom time for Boohoo through the pandemic, as shoppers switched from physical to virtual shopping baskets, lured by the e-retailer’s cheap prices,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

She added that the company’s “nimble supply chain” has allowed it to update its range rapidly and maintain momentum after acquiring new brands.

The company started to trade with the Debenhams and acquired Arcadia brands after the end of the financial year.

There will also be a focus on how sales have been impacted by the reopening of high street fashion retailers from April 12 and if this has dragged some customers away from its platforms.

A consensus of analysts also predicted that the company would deliver an adjusted pre-tax profit of £147.3 million for the year.

It comes after a year which saw the business dogged by a supply chain scandal regarding labour abuses and poor working conditions at its Leicester factories.

However, Ms Streeter said that earlier signs have shown that customers have “largely shrugged off the crisis”.

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Nevertheless, it knocked the firm’s share price and investors will be keen to see proof that it has sufficiently addressed these concerns.

Jefferies’ equity analyst Andrew Wade said: “Unsurprisingly, given events over the last year, we expect the main investor focus to be on the implementation of Boohoo’s Agenda for Change programme and the key milestones achieved.

“We continue to view the publication of Boohoo’s audited supplier list in March as a crucial step forward, and are keen to hear management detail and evidence its confidence that the UK supply chain is now in order.”

The new figures will come after Boohoo acquired a new office in London’s West End for more than £70m.

Boohoo also recently announced plans to create up to 1,000 jobs at a new warehouse in the Midlands.

In March, the online retailer published a list of its UK suppliers as part of a push to be more transparent in the wake of an independent review led by a QC.

Business Live – North West