The online fashion retailer could be a front runner when the coronavirus crisis comes to an end
Boohoo posts strong full year results
- Full year results end strongly, seeing a continuation of rapid growth in sales and profitability
- Revenues rose by 44%, pre-tax profits jumped by 54%, while the Group’s Nasty Gal acquisition more than doubled sales
- As an online only retailer it entered the global pandemic in a stronger position than its high street peers
- Recommendation: We still see the shares as an opportunity for investors taking a long term view, looking for capital growth and maintain our ‘Buy’ recommendation
We’re approaching the time of year when most of the big retailers start reporting their latest set of full year results and, like Boohoo, most of them are likely to report full year results only slightly tainted by the coronavirus outbreak, if at all. Boohoo’s results for the year ended in February, just as the outbreak hit Europe. Therefore, they were largely unaffected and we saw a continuation of the rapid growth rates in sales and profitability. The revenues were up by 44% to just over £1.2bn, while profits before taxes jumped by 54% to £92m. The Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing brands saw reasonably good growth of 38%, and its smaller Nasty Gal acquisition more than doubled sales. Overall the numbers were slightly above expectations, lifting the shares by around 5% at the open.
But what’s been going on since the outbreak is all important and should provide some reassurance for investors. Given that it’s an online only retailer, naturally it has not had to face the drastic measures as its high street peers. However, given the huge amount of uncertainty and lower consumer confidence as people found themselves out of work or furloughed, sales during March were mixed. The additional costs of providing safe working environments at inefficient levels will also hurt, although April revenue numbers seem to be encouraging.
Management are understandably withholding from giving any guidance for the upcoming year, but investors can be further assured as the company has reasonably good financial headroom, a net cash balance of £241mn and a largely variable cost structure. Boohoo went into the crisis in a stronger position than most of its peers and we would now expect it to emerge on the other side in reasonably good health.
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