Boohoo sales surge in Q1, but some markets are challenged

Boohoo’s trading update on Tuesday showed that the pureplay e-tailer continued to prosper in Q1, even after physical stores reopened in Britain in April, although there remained challenges in some markets and margins were squeezed.

The three months from March to the end of May saw total revenue reaching £486.1 million, up 32% year-on-year. And it saw revenue up 91% compared to the same period two years ago, an interesting comparison with the last ‘normal’ Q1 and a sign of just how big Boohoo has become in the subsequent 24 months as it has acquired a large basket of brands.

In the UK alone, revenue reached £274.6 million, up 95% on a two-year basis and 50% year-on-year. And it fared well in the US where the two-year figure was a rise of 157% and the one-year figure was 43% up, or 40% currency-neutral. That meant it saw £131.9 million in revenue in that market.

But one-year comparisons were tougher elsewhere. In the rest of Europe, revenue may have risen 43% compared to 2019, but it was down 14% (or -12% currency-neutral) at £54.7 million compared to a year ago.

It also saw a dip on a one-year basis in the rest of the world. Looking at the two-year figure, it was up 3% to £24.9 million, but it was down 15% compared to 2020, or -10% currency-neutral.