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The Hut Group's profits boosted by legal ruling

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Online multiwebsite retailer The Hut Group is celebrating a "landmark year", after recording pre-tax profit growth of 33% to £30m in the year to the end of December. Sales of £334m were 34% up on the previous year.



The quiet etail group, which operates several brands across nutrition, beauty, fashion and lifestyle, has been quietly building momentum in its Cheshire-based head office, and launching in several international markets over the last two years at an unprecedented rate.

The figures for 2015 have been boosted by a near-£5m windfall following the end of a dispute with the owner of an offshore trust.

According to The Times, the dispute related to the £60m purchase by THG of Myprotein in 2011.

In 2014 THG was awarded damages by the High Court as part of a series of legal claims and counterclaims between them and Oliver Cookson, the Myprotein founder.

The High Court found that the reported profits of Myprotein, which was held in an offshore trust, had been overstated before the Hut Group acquisition had been completed. Last month a claim by Cookson was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

There has been a lot of speculation that The Hut Group will float, but the retailer declined to comment on this occasion. It has however, restructured its banking facilities twice over the past 24 months and grew from £80m to £210m last year.

A spokesman for the group said that the new banking arrangements were to accelerate its international expansion plans and to fund any possible future acquisitions.

Matthew Moulding, founder, CEO and largest shareholder, said that it was a significant British export success.

“Our target of becoming the world’s No 1 in online health and beauty is now firmly in our sights," he added.

Published on Wednesday 20 April by Veebs Sabharwal

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