The Hut Group forms independent advisory panel and ups sales guidance

Joanna Bourke
·2-min read

UK tech darling The Hut Group haslaunched a major push to improve its corporate governance after the £6.4 billion online beauty retailer faced criticisms during its recent blockbuster stock market float.

THG, which sells sports nutrition and beauty brands online and licenses its technology to others, has formed an independent advisory panel to bolster its non-executive directors.

The company has been criticised because founder Matthew Moulding is both chief executive and chairman and holds a “golden share”, granting him extra voting power.

The new advisory panel includes Damian Sanders, who was until recently a senior audit partner at Deloitte and is a independent non-executive director at Cineworld.

Adam Waller and Alan McGill, both partners at PwC, also join.

Moulding said: “This is a transformational step for THG and we look forward to making additional appointments over the medium term.”

The moves are likely to assuage some critics although THG will still not qualify for a premium listing at the Stock Exchange, meaning it cannot be ranked in the FTSE-100.

That means many tracker funds are not allowed to invest in the company’s shares.

Current shareholders, however, were more focused on a blockbuster set of financial figures for the third quarter, also out today, which showed sales soared 38.6% to £378.1 million.

THG shares, which floated at 500p last month, shot up 68.4p to 741p today, adding to the huge paper profits of investors who held their noses over the governance concerns and bought in.

The surging quarterly performance was driven in part by sales of vitamin C tablets more than trebling, and strong demand for hand sanitiser and hair dye.

The Hut Group upped full-year sales guidance to between £1.48 billion and £1.52 billion, from £1.43 billion previously.

THG only has two independent directors, whereas three is in line with the governance code.

It today said it was committed to appointing an additional one.

Liberum analyst Wayne Brown said the appointments “show a strong willingness to improve governance and allay shareholder concerns”.

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