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MANCHESTER – A surge in sales at online ultra-fast fashion retailer, Boohoo, means the UK headquartered business is now worth more than retail icon, Marks & Spencer. Revenues at Boohoo rose by a remarkable 44 per cent in the 10 months to the end of December, to more than £1bn. With shares rocketing on the back of the strong sales, Boohoo’s share price hit 331p, valuing the company at £3.8bn – £100m more than M&S. Given M&S’s recent ongoing woes, including another profit warning, it looks like this changing of the guard in the UK retail landscape will be permanent.

Boohoo uses celebrities such as Little Mix and Love Island star Maura Higgins to support its ranges via traditional and social media channels. The company said in a statement that all its brands, including Boohoo, Nasty Gal and Pretty Little Thing, performed “exceptionally” over the trading period.

Said Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle: “I am delighted to report the group has enjoyed record trading in the last four months of 2019. All of our brands have performed exceptionally well and delivered strong market share gains. We have continued to see operating leverage in our more established brands, and will continue to invest into them and our newly-acquired brands. The newly-acquired brands, MissPap, Karen Millen and Coast, are showing great promise and open different target markets for the group, in line with our strategy to build our multi-brand platform.”

In terms of individual Boohoo brands, Boohoo revenues were £232m, up 42 per cent, PrettyLittleThing revenues were £190m, up 32 per cent, and Nasty Gal revenues were £41m, up 102 per cent.

With respect to markets, USA and Europe led the way with a 57 per cent advance in each market. Sales in the UK – Boohoo’s biggest market – rose 42 per cent and in the rest of the world saw a 13 per cent increase.

Gross margin fell 53 per cent over the four-month period and Boohoo reported that it had successfully integrated and relaunched acquisitions MissPap, Karen Millen and Coast.

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