Boohoo’s Impressive Growth Proves Ultrafast Fashion Is Still on the Rise

Boohoo is continuing its hot streak, defying Brexit pressures and U.K. retail’s downbeat mood.

The fast-fashion group — which owns the Boohoo, Nasty Gal and PrettyLittleThing brands — beat expectations for fiscal 2019, reporting a 49% lift in both earnings and annual profits.

Adjusted profits for the year ended Feb. 28 were £76.3 million ($99 million), up from £51 million in 2018 and ahead of the £66.9 million forecast by analysts. Revenues reached £856.9 million ($1.1 billion), up 48% year over year, with U.K. sales up 37% and international sales up 64%.

The results illustrate the ongoing growth of online fast-fashion retailers that target young customers with ultratrendy pieces and prices even lower than what Zara or ASOS offers. Boohoo has a global demographic of 16- to 30-year-olds and says it has 13 million registered customers. Its ability to get product from design to market in about two weeks — compared with the four- to six-week standard among its peers — has helped it leap ahead while veteran fast-fashion giants like H&M struggle to trim their store counts and combat excessive discounting.

This year, Boohoo tapped Primark’s John Lyttle as CEO. “In my short time within the business, I am delighted to have been able to meet a number of hugely talented people and have already been able to see many parts of the business,” Lyttle said in a statement. “This has confirmed my belief and optimism that the group’s investments into its brands and infrastructure have allowed it to develop a scalable multibrand platform that is well positioned to disrupt, gain market share and capitalize on what is a truly global opportunity.”

Boohoo’s acquisition streak of 2016 and 2017 is paying off: Revenues grew 107% at PrettyLittleThing and 96% at Nasty Gal year over year as both brands significantly expanded their customer base. The group expects its overall revenues to grow between 25% and 30% in the coming year.

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