Boohoo raises guidance as pandemic keeps rivals’ stores closed

Boohoo has raised its guidance for revenue growth, with the online-only retailer benefiting from the pandemic that has kept many of its rivals’ stores closed.

The company said on Thursday that it expected group revenue to grow by 36 to 38 per cent in the full year, up from previous guidance of 28 to 32 per cent.

The Manchester-based group said sales in the four months to December grew to £661m, up 40 per cent on the same period last year. Analysts were expecting a 29 per cent increase.

Boohoo said its margins would be flat because of coronavirus-related headwinds on shipping and the rising cost of reaching new customers.

John Lyttle, Boohoo’s chief executive, said the company had pushed ahead with its global expansion and had “continued to grow our market share across all geographies”.

Boohoo was last summer rocked by evidence of widespread abuse of workers among its UK suppliers, including wages far below minimum pay. An independent review into the online group’s supply chain concluded that while Boohoo had not “intentionally” profited from the abuses, it knew about them and had not acted quickly enough.

In October, not long after the publication of the review, PwC resigned as Boohoo’s auditor. The retailer later appointed PKF Littlejohn, an auditor from outside the UK’s top 10 accountancy firms.

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