Missguided sales soar as UK, Europe and US shoppers buy into the look

UK fashion e-tailer Missguided saw a sales surge in its latest year but that didn’t help profits and the firm, which recently moved into physical stores, swung to a pre-tax loss.


Missguided's high-profile, sexy stye has proved popular at home and abroad


Sales rose 75% to £205.8 million in the year to the end of March with e-tail sales up 40% in the UK and up an astonishing 100% in the US, France and Germany. This growth was crucial as it pushed international sales up to 42.5% of the firm’s total turnover.

But what about that loss? A year earlier, fast-growing Missguided had made a small pre-tax profit of £381,00, but this time round the loss was £1.6 million.

The company said that its physical stores move was the reason as investment costs dented its bottom line. And there’s no denying that this move would have been costly as it took sizeable spaces at expensive locations including Westfield London and Bluewater in Kent. That pushed its retail operation into a £2.4 million loss.

It also spent heavily on customer acquisition via TV and poster ads although this clearly paid off and helped push active customer numbers up to 2.8 million from 1.9 million.

The company, which is only eight years old, looks well positioned to come out as one of the eventual winners in the UK fashion retail market. Like its peers Boohoo, Asos and Quiz, it seems to have tapped into the look that a large number of 20-something women want right now. And on the assumption that those young women don’t suddenly go all out for norm-core or gender-neutral, it’s likely to remain a fairly buoyant part of the market.

Missguided has also been predicted to be one of the fashion retailers that will list on the stock exchange relatively soon and it was recently suggested that it could have a value of around £700 million.

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