The online fashion specialist, who has been reported as a potential buyer for the Oasis and Warehouse chains that collapsed in administration last week, reported a 54% increase in pre-tax profits to 92 million. Pounds Sterling while sales increased 44% to £ 1.2 billion in February 29th.
The group – which owns PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, Coast, Karen Millen and MissPap as well as Boohoo’s main website – said sales had taken a hit after the government imposed traffic restrictions on March 23, but that they bounced back to be better than last year. levels in recent weeks.
Boohoo said it could not provide a profit forecast for the coming year due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, which could cause its warehouses to close at some point. But the company said it had a solid balance sheet, at £ 241 million at the end of the year, and was “well positioned to … continue to disrupt fashion markets around the world” .
Neil Catto, CFO of Boohoo, said: “Our priority right now has been the well-being of our teams and the management of the crisis”, and added: “Our balance sheet is solid and we have the opportunity to research opportunities to help other brands through the crisis. It is likely that many opportunities will arise in the coming weeks and we will examine them and assess whether we can add value. “
Catto declined to say if Boohoo was considering Oasis and Warehouse, but it’s likely he offers a number of other options.
A multitude of fashion brands are under pressure, with TM Lewin and Office urgently seeking bailout deals and Debenhams and Laura Ashley in the administration. Laura Ashley’s brand name was sold to restructuring specialist Gordon Brothers on Wednesday, but her stores and website remain in the hands of PwC administrators, leaving 1,669 jobs currently at risk.
Carol Kane, Joint Managing Director of Boohoo, said that during the lockout, buyers had switched from tight-fitting dresses and evening wear to casual wear such as hoodies, sweatpants and sleepwear suitable for time inside. “It’s more of a casual package,” she said.
Kane said Boohoo had been able to quickly adapt its supply chain to challenges such as factory closings in China and the need for physical distancing in British factories. “Our deadlines are short and this has worked to our advantage. The fabric that could have gone into a garment has been changed to another more suitable for the request, “she said.
The company said it believed its warehouses were operating safely after introducing measures to ensure physical distance.
Boohoo has been criticized by some workers and the Usdaw union for personal protective equipment and inadequate work practices. Usdaw says it did not provide the physical distance to its Burnley warehouse.