Huge overseas sales leap for The Hut Group

Huge overseas sales leap for The Hut Group

Cheshire’s online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group has seen annual earnings rise by a third in a "landmark year" for the firm.

With backers including former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy and ex-Marks & Spencer boss Lord Rose, the firm said international sales made up more than half of all revenues for the first time last year as it shipped nine million orders to 192 countries.

Underlying earnings increased by 33% to £30 million in 2015 as it hit a raft of milestones, including notching up eight million customers worldwide.

Overseas sales rose 46% to £167 million last year.

The group plans to create 2,000 jobs over the next three years across the North West, having added 630 jobs in 2015.

Matthew Moulding, chief executive of The Hut Group, said: "I am pleased to report another landmark year for The Hut Group.

"Our target of becoming the World's number one in online Health & Beauty is now firmly in our sights."

The group sells third-party branded or own-label health and beauty products across websites including Myprotein, HQ Hair, Lookfantastic, The Hut and Mankind.

It also provides technology platforms for retailers requiring e-commerce services and last year launched Elizabeth Arden's first ecommerce website in the UK and Ireland.

The firm recently added new beauty brands to its portfolio, snapping up Mio Skincare in 2015 and Grow Gorgeous in 2016.

The group, which was founded in 2004, has become one of the UK's fastest growing online retailers and currently has a 1,800-strong workforce.

As well as retail veterans Sir Terry and Lord Rose, the group also counts the world's biggest asset manager Blackrock as a shareholder and sold a 19.2% stake to private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for £100 million in 2014.