The Hut Group sees sales and profits leap in year of growth
Acquisition-hungry online beauty and wellbeing retailer The Hut Group continues its pursuit of world domination as sales and profits soar.
The Manchester-based business behind leading brands including Lookfantastic.com, Espa and Glossybox has posted a 24% increase in group sales for the year ended 31 December 2018, growing from £916 million from £736 million in the prior year.
International sales now account for 66% of group revenues, the group announced this Wednesday. Becoming the number one in health and beauty globally has been The Hut Group’s key priority in the past few years, and the continued investment in brands and infrastructure is helping it achieve its vision.
In fact, the company invested £180 million in technology, beauty and infrastructure last year, including the acquisition of eye cosmetics brand Eyeko, skincare manufacturer Acheson & Acheson and Language Connect, a leading language translation and localisation services company.
The Hut Group platform now operates across 31 languages and 39 currencies, delivering to 169 countries. To support this growth, the company has built a warehouse and manufacturing facility in Wroclaw, Poland which opened in October. And during 2019, the retailer’s fulfilment network will be strengthened further with the addition of smaller fulfilment centres in Asia, Australasia and India, as well as two additional locations in the USA.
Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of The Hut Group, said: “This has been another landmark year for THG. Our strategic investments to develop our technology, infrastructure, brands and people, have delivered exceptional global growth with 66% of our sales achieved internationally.
“THG’s investments during 2018 have been followed by further investments to date in 2019, resulting in over £850m ($1.1bn) of investment across Beauty, Technology and Infrastructure since 2016 and the vote on Brexit. This scale of investment propels THG’s proposition across global markets, deepening our strategic advantage and enabling us to digitalise brands at scale.”
ONE OF THE UK’S FASTEST GROWING BUSINESSES
The rapid growth strategy is working for the British business, with gross profit rising by 31% to £417 million during 2018 and EBITDA up 31% to £91 million.
The Hut Group also enjoyed continued strong growth in own brand revenues, with 59% of group sales coming from its own brands. These include beauty labels such as Illamasqua and Grow Gorgeous, luxury brands like Coggles and All Sole and lifestyle brands like Zavvi and Iwoot.
And the creation of a $1 billion business campus at Manchester Airport will see The Hut Group expand its workforce further, after creating 1,500 new jobs in the North West in 2018. This year, the company plans to create a further 1,500, taking the total number of employees to more than 6,000.
Matthew Moulding said: “Talent is key to our success, and the announcement of our agreement to invest $1bn in the new THQ business campus demonstrates our strong commitment to investing in our people.”
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