Boohoo.com boosts sales by moving into petite and plus-size clothing
Online retailer Boohoo.com cheered a surge in profit after a strong demand for denim, swimwear and lingerie helped sales soar.
The fast-fashion firm said pre-tax profits stepped up 42% to £15.7 million in the year ending February 29, after the decision to introduce petite and plus-size clothing ranges paid off.
Revenue climbed 40% to £195.4 million over the period, as the number of customers also rose 34% year-on-year to four million.
It said UK sales lifted 38% to £130 million for 2016 following a "strong performance" from its womenswear range.
But despite the better-than-expected results, shares slipped 0.5p to 49.5p.
The Manchester-based firm said: "A key factor in the high growth we have experienced in the year has been the expanded range of clothing, with plus-size, petite, swimwear and denim growing very strongly. We also introduced a broader lingerie range, which has performed very well."
It said it had made an "encouraging start" to the 2017 financial year and was on course to bolster sales by 25% in line with expectations.
It added that it had invested £7.7 million into expanding its warehouse in August last year, while also introducing a new pay structure for staff "aligned" with the National Living Wage.
The company, which employs more than 1,000 staff, said website traffic had risen 13% to 206 million sessions, with the sale conversion rate rising from 3.6% to 4%.
Joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said: "We are pleased to report a year of strong revenue growth across all geographic regions.
"Active customer numbers, order frequency and conversion have all increased on last year as we continue to invest in building customer lifetime value.
"By refining the mix of promotional and marketing expenditure in each of our key markets, we have achieved growth ahead of our plans."
Analysts at Peel Hunt said Boohoo.com was "clearly on the front foot" with a good start to Spring and Summer driven by "strong fashion themes".