THG chair Matthew Moulding hails ‘milestone’ year as revenues reach £1.6bn

The Hut Group's Matt Moulding

The founder and executive chairman of Manchester online retail giant The Hut Group is set to donate £100m to charity as the group reported revenues had reached £1.6bn.

Matthew Moulding will transfer £100m worth of listed ordinary THG shares into The Moulding Foundation which he and his wife started last year with the intention to distribute proceeds to various charities.

The sum represents the equivalent of 100 per cent of the profit his Moulding Capital property company could make over the next 100 years as a result of acting as landlord to THG’s premises

The founder has previously stated his intention not to profit from his employment at THG waiving his salary.

This comes as the group reported results for 2020 with a first-quarter trading update.

Full year 2020 revenues reached £1.6bn, 42 per cent up year on year and £151m adjusted EBITDA, which was up 35 per cent after £2.6m of self-funded furlough costs.

Statutory operating profit before adjusted items was £46m, however a £482m operating loss was driven by one-off, non-cash items, principally equity awarded to its employees.

The group also reported strong Q1 2021 revenue with 58 per cent growth and ‘encouraging progress’ on the integration of Dermstore in the US which it acquired late last year.

The group said its Ingenuity Commerce continued revenue acceleration with Q1 2021 with a 188 per cent rise in sales growth.

THG also announced it will shortly be opening its ICON studios close to its Manchester head office. It will be Europe’s largest content studio housing 2,000 people, offering high quality video production and photography capabilities for THG brands and Ingenuity clients.

It will also invest in a further 3.6m sq ft of fulfilment and personalisation capacity in the medium-term at key locations globally to support THG’s own-brands and Ingenuity clients.

Matthew Moulding said: “We approach FY21 with confidence having navigated successfully through a milestone year in the Group’s history.

“I am particularly proud of how our people have responded to the changing environment, displaying determination to make a difference across all aspects of our operations from new product development, to digital marketing, M&A, fulfilment and THG (eco).

“Our global D2C brand building capabilities and proprietary Ingenuity technology platform has enabled us to further develop both our external brand relationships, and our expanding portfolio of Beauty and Nutrition own brands.

“Leveraging the platform to build an impressive client base of blue-chip consumer brands has been a highlight of the year, supported by encouraging momentum in the current year Ingenuity Commerce pipeline.

“Management’s purpose for the IPO was to step change THG’s access to funding in order to capitalise on Covid-19 accelerated market changes.

“As we progressed through 2020, those changes became more apparent in terms of the volume and scale of opportunities available to the Group, as evidenced by the c. £400m committed to acquisitions since IPO, most notably the acquisition of Dermstore in the US.”

He added: “After highlighting our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of Group operations with the launch of THG (eco) in 2020, we have announced significant investment to support the Group’s strategy to off-set existing usage and footprint.

“Plastics are a real and immediate problem for THG’s operational sites, our consumers, and for Ingenuity partners. We are investing in best-in-class plastic recycling operations that at first help us off-set our plastic footprint, but in time enable us to close the loop and re-use the plastic we process within THG directly.”