What to look out for in results of online fashion retailer boohoo

Online fashion retailer boohoo (LON: BOO) has been performing strongly and its full year figures are set to show significant growth.

Former Primark chief operating officer John Lyttle will be presenting his first set of results as boohoo boss on Wednesday 24 April.

Lyttle joined the online fashion retailer after the February year end so he did not influence the figures and there may only be initial indications on the direction he intends to take the business.

More detailed strategy plans may have to wait until the next figures, but there are things to look out for in the annual results.


The eponymous boohoo.com is growing rapidly for such a large business, but it is being upstaged by the growth of PrettyLittleThing and US-based Nasty Gal. PrettyLittleThing, which is aimed at 16-34 year old women, is the main reason behind more recent upgrades.

PrettyLittleThing is estimated to have nearly doubled its revenues last year and accounts for around 17% of forecast revenues. Even after that rapid growth, the retail brand is expected to grow its revenues by 50% this year. The growth is coming from English speaking countries.

The Nasty Gal brand is growing even more rapidly but it is less than 3% of group revenues.


The varying performance of the brands in different countries will be something to look out for in the figures.

The fastest growth is coming from the US and Europe, although the more mature UK market is still growing strongly and remains, for the time being, the generator of the majority of revenues.

Also, gross margins are expected to be strong and there should be indications whether they can continue to improve.


The performance of the warehouses and logistics operations will also be important. PrettyLittleThing moved into a new warehouse in the first half and there were additional costs related to this relocation. It will be interesting to find out how efficient the warehouse was in the second half.

The main group warehouse in Burnley is being automated. The process was said to be on course at the time of the interim last September. Full operational use is expected this year, so the benefits are yet to come.


In the year to February 2019, boohoo revenues are set to grow from £580m to around £850m. Peel Hunt is forecasting a 2018-19 pre-tax profit of £70.7m, up from £51m the previous year, and this is well above the consensus of £66.6m.

However, the broker states that the main reason for the difference could be differing ways that non-cash, share-based payments are treated in the figures.

Boohoo should be on course for a 2019-20 pre-tax profit of more than £90m on revenues one-third higher, although it is still early in the year.

At 218p, boohoo shares are trading on 47 times prospective 2019-20 earnings. The retailer has a record of forecast upgrades in the past couple of years so that rating could reduce during the year.

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Andrew Hore
Andrew Hore is the publisher of AIM Journal, which is an online monthly publication covering the Alternative Investment Market.