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THG lifts outlook after stonking online sales in December

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THG PLC (LON:THG), the online retail specialist formerly known as the Hut Group, has upped its growth guidance for 2021 after sales were even stronger than expected in December.  

Having agreed the US acquisition of Dermstore.com in between Christmas and the New Year, and after the strong festive showing, the THG board has upped its expectations for revenue growth in the new financial year to 30%-35%, from the 20%-25% guidance given in early December.

Executive chairman Matthew Moulding hailed a “transformational year” for the group, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in September and has begun to invest some of the capital raised from the IPO.

Perhaps even more important, THG sales growth has continued to accelerate since listing.

Indeed, the £558.7mln of revenue generated in the fourth quarter of 2020 was up 51% on the previous year, outdoing the guidance given for 40%-45% growth at the start of last month.

Beauty, the group’s largest segment, where THG owns brands ESPA, Illamasqua and Glossybox, supplier Acheson & Acheson and sells these and third-party brands via specialist sites such as lookfantastic.com as well as on the original thehut.com, saw growth of 66% to £298.2mln.

Nutrition, led by its leading MyProtein brand, grew sales 40% to £158.2mln.

OnDemand, which is the new name for Lifestyle, which consists of clothing brands including Coggles, AllSole and Mybag as well as websites Zavvi, IWOOT and Pop In A Box, grew the fastest, up 81% to £42.4mln.

Ingenuity, the group’s third-party digital commerce platform, reported sales up 16% to £40.3mln and won contracts including with GlaxoSmithKline for its vitamins, Dulux paints, Vimto drinks and fragrance brand Creed.

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