Clothing & Shoes

Boohoo raises guidance as revenue soars

It comes as the online retailer has published the first of Sir Brian Leveson’s reports, providing independent oversight of its Agenda for Change programme

Boohoo has welcomed a period of “strong” trading towards the end of last year, with revenue soaring by 40% to £661m in the four months ended 31 December 2020. 

In light of this trading performance, it now expects group revenue growth for the financial year to 28 February 2021 to be 36% to 38%, ahead of its previous guidance of 28% to 32%.

Its medium-term guidance remains at 25% sales growth per annum alongside a 10% adjusted EBITDA margin, reflecting the “board’s confidence in the group’s prospects as it continues to invest to support growth and raise standards across its supply chain”.

In its latest trading update, the group noted it has made “significant” progress with its Agenda for Change programme, which was launched following last year’s scandal, where Boohoo faced allegations of slavery and poor working conditions after a Sunday Times exposé highlighted poor conditions at supplier Jaswal Fashions in an undercover report

The findings resulted in an independent review of its UK supply chain, which focused on a number of key areas including: corporate governance; redefining its purchasing practices; raising standards across its supply chain; supporting Leicester’s workers and workers’ rights; support for suppliers; and demonstrating best practice in action. 

Last November, the group appointed Sir Brian Leveson PC to provide independent oversight of its Agenda for Change programme, and his first report has today been published on Boohoo’s website. The report “acknowledges the pace with which boohoo is making towards effecting change, while noting that recommendations remain work in progress”. 

Boohoo said it is “making excellent progress” as it works to implement the Review’s recommendations. 

Actions to date include “significant” investments in strengthening its internal Responsible Sourcing, Compliance and Sustainability teams, appointing Bureau Veritas and Verisio to support the ethical audits of suppliers and subcontractors, establishing a Supply Chain Compliance Committee that reports to the board and removing 64 suppliers from its UK supplier list, with further investigations ongoing. 

CEO John Lyttle said: “I’m delighted with the group’s performance over the peak trading period. Our team worked exceptionally hard in 2020 as we navigated the many challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the successful acquisition and integration of Oasis and Warehouse

“I’m pleased to be able to provide a further update on our Agenda for Change programme today, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to transparency as we invest in our approach to sustainability and our supply chain for the benefit of all of the Group’s stakeholders.” 

He added: “The group is in an excellent position entering 2021, which we expect to be another year of progress towards our goal of leading the fashion e-commerce market globally.”

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