Boohoo sales soar in lockdown as it claims ‘progress’ after supply chain scandal

Boohoo has said sales are due to smash targets after strong trading in the latest lockdown period, as it claimed it has made improvements to its supply chain and governance following last year’s working conditions scandal.

The online fashion retailer said group revenues jumped 40% to £660.8 million on the back of strong Christmas and Black Friday sales.

It told investors it now expects to deliver revenue growth of between 36% and 38% for the financial year to February, ahead of previous guidance of 28%-32%.

The company said it expects to deliver an earnings margin of around 10% despite increased costs in the face of the pandemic.

However, Boohoo also warned it expects “higher distribution and administrative costs” to result in a small cost headwind, which it hopes to largely mitigate.

As a result of the strong UK growth, the company said it is set to expand its warehouse capacity with a new site for its Nasty Gal, Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis and Warehouse brands.

It said the site, which is due to open in April, will create up to 1,000 new jobs.

The update came as the company published its first independent report by Sir Brian Leveson following the company’s supply chain scandal.

Boohoo said it is making “excellent progress” to put in pace recommendations following Alison Levitt QC’s report on the scandal, which stated the company was aware of the factory failings in Leicester.

Boohoo said 64 companies have been removed from its UK supplier list as a result.

Mahmud Kamani, founder and group executive chairman, said: “I’m pleased to publish Sir Brian Leveson’s first report today.

“I’m immensely proud of the speed with which our team has worked to effect change during such a challenging period for the group, and it’s encouraging to see our progress acknowledged in the report.”

John Lyttle, chief executive of Boohoo, said: “I’m delighted with the group’s performance over the peak trading period.

“Our team worked exceptionally hard in 2020 as we navigated the many challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the successful acquisition and integration of Oasis and Warehouse.

“Growth has been strong across our multi-brand platform and we have continued to grow our market share across all geographies.

“The group is in an excellent position entering 2021, which we expect to be another year of progress towards our goal of leading the fashion e-commerce market globally.”