Belfast Telegraph

Online fashion firm MySale profit boost reassures tycoon investors

Scandal-hit retail tycoons Sir Philip Green and Mike Ashley had cause for cheer on Wednesday after MySale, the online fashion firm they back, swung into profit.

The Australian company, which floated on the UK stock exchange in 2014, said annual revenue grew 7% to 252.3 million Australian dollars (£149 million), while pre-tax profits came in at 167,000 Australian dollars compared to a 21.5 million Australian dollars loss last year.

The group revealed that it has inked a new partnership with Mr Ashley's Sports Direct in Australia, which will see the retailer's inventory feature on MySale's antipodean websites.

Chief executive Carl Jackson said that the firm is "well insulated" from Brexit-linked uncertainty and that, in the immediate term, MySale "will experience some benefit from a weaker GBP sterling exchange rate".

MySale, which operates in Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and the United Kingdom, had a rocky start to life as a listed company when it first floated. Shares plummeted after an error in its listing price shook confidence in the firm, costing Sir Philip and Mr Ashley millions in paper losses, and the firm later issued a profit warning.

In 2014, Sir Philip bought a 25% stake in the firm and Mr Ashley 4.8%.

The retail billionaires have had a torrid time of late. Both have taken a hammering from furious MPs, Sir Philip over his role in the collapse of BHS and Mr Ashley for working conditions at Sports Direct.

Respected retail analyst Nick Bubb said: "Given their recent troubles, the embattled Philip Green and Mike Ashley could do with some good news and they may find some in today's finals, which show a continuing recovery, as reflected in the recent recovery in the share price."

Shares were up 2.72% to 94.5p in morning trading.