- British fast fashion retailer Boohoo earned £816.5 million ($US1.05 billion) in sales in the six months to August 31, it reported on Wednesday.
- Boohoo’s international popularity is growing rapidly: Sales in the US nearly doubled compared to the same time last year.
- Nearly half of the group’s sales are now made outside of the UK.
- Recent allegations of “lockdown breaches, exploitation, and modern slavery” among its suppliers don’t seem to have dented sales. Boohoo said it has a “highly positive outlook” for the future.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
British fast fashion giant Boohoo’s latest results show it’s becoming a force in the US too.
Its total revenues soared 45% in the six months to August 31, it said Wednesday â€” suggesting allegations of exploitation at suppliers’ factories has not hurt its standing among customers.
The British company earned Â£816.5 million ($US1.05 billion) in sales in the six months to August 31, compared to Â£564.9 million ($US726.7 million) the same time last year. Non-UK sales now account for 47% of Boohoo’s revenue, after the company saw growth across all regions.
Sales in the US nearly doubled year-on-year, with the company selling Â£202.2 million ($US259.5 million) worth of goods between February and August, it said.
As well as the Boohoo e-commerce brand, the group owns PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, MissPap, Karen Millen, Coast, Warehouse, and Oasis.
Many new customers came to Boohoo in the spring after the lockdown prevented high-street shopping, the company said.
Total UK clothes sales in August were 15.9% below their levels in February, before the UK went into lockdown, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, and clothing has been the UK’s worst-hit retail sector during the pandemic. But fashion companies with a strong online presence, like Boohoo, have fared well during the pandemic.
Nike shares hit a record high on September 23 after the company reported an 82% jump in online sales, and earlier in the month Zara owner Inditex returned to profit after online sales grew by 74% in the six months to July.
Boohoo reported a 51% jump in profit before tax, to Â£68.1 million ($US87.4 million). The company has a “highly positive outlook” for the future of both Boohoo and the wider online fashion industry, it said.
“The demand for affordable online fashion continues unabated and provides the opportunity for continued growth globally,” Boohoo said in the financial statement.
“Modern slavery” allegations at Boohoo suppliers
The company has been shrouded in controversy in recent months after allegations of “lockdown breaches, exploitation, and modern slavery,” at its suppliers factories. Boohoo ignored red flags over working conditions among suppliers and often has “no idea where its clothes are being made,” an independent review published September 25 found.
Boohoo said the review “has identified significant and clearly unacceptable issues in our supply chain, and the steps we had taken to address them, but it is clear that we need to go further and faster to improve our governance, oversight and compliance.”
The group’s revenue is expected to grow by around 30% in the year to February 2021, it said â€” it initially expected a 25% increase.
It upped its estimated capital expenditure for the year from about Â£80 to Â£100 million ($US103 to $US128 million) because of investments in automation alongside IT developments.
CEO John Lyttle said Boohoo remains “optimistic” about the group’s prospects, adding that it is “well-positioned to continue making progress towards leading the fashion e-commerce market globally.”