THG shares slide as it warns over ‘more challenging’ start to 2022

Shares in the troubled online retailer and logistics specialist THG have suffered a fresh hit after it warned revenue growth is set to slow.

The company, previously known as The Hut Group, also disclosed that profit margins would fall short of City expectations.

THG, which sells beauty and nutrition brands as well as providing ecommerce and logistics for third parties, has seen its stock value fall by three quarters over the past year after coming under intense scrutiny.

Image: THG shares have lost three quarters of their value since peaking at more than 800p

It slumped by a further 9% following the company’s latest trading update, despite reporting a 29.7% rise in fourth quarter revenues, taking total sales for the year past £2bn.

That was after THG warned that sales growth in the early part of 2022 was expected to be “more challenging” by comparison with a period last year when it was boosted by global lockdowns.


It also said it was facing record commodity prices within its nutrition division, whose products include high protein foods, vitamins, performance supplements and energy drinks.

Revenue for this year is now expected to grow by 22-25%, down from 37.9% growth reported for last year.

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THG added that, because of adverse currency movements, profit margins for 2021 were expected to be in the range of 7.4%-7.7% compared with market expectations of 7.9%.

Revenues for last year at the company – whose brands include LookFantastic – reached £2.2bn thanks to what it described as “significant growth” over the festive season.

Image: THG is led by founder Matthew Moulding Pic: THG

It said it dispatched more than one million units a day at peak periods over Christmas.

THG’s stock market debut in 2020 was London’s biggest of that year but it has had a torrid time in recent months.

It faced a big shares sell-off last autumn because of concerns about its corporate governance and the value of its logistics and ecommerce arm Ingenuity.

A capital markets day held in October to try to soothe investor worries backfired as it prompted shares to slump further.

It has since launched a search for an independent non-executive chairman as it seeks a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Founder, chairman and chief executive Matthew Moulding has said he would relinquish his golden share – a structure that allows him to keep greater control but would prevent a FTSE listing.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The only way THG is going to win back the market’s favour is if it delivers better than expected figures consistently for at least two or three quarters.

“Unfortunately, its latest update doesn’t pass the test as it flags margins are slightly below expectations.

“Under normal circumstances, a business delivering the level of growth seen in THG’s latest update would be applauded by the market.

“Sadly, THG has shot itself in the foot thanks to the way it has behaved as a listed company since joining the stock market.

“And that means only something spectacular will lift the share price.”