Shares of Hut Group soar to record highs thanks to bumper sale update that increased founder and wife’s wealth by nearly £ 25m in one day
Hut Group shares skyrocketed thanks to a massive sales update that increased the wealth of the founder and his wife by nearly £ 25 million in one day.
In the market’s first update since the blockbuster floated on the London Stock Exchange last month, the fashion and beauty online retailer revealed that revenues were 38.6 percent higher between July and September than a year earlier.
In total, it raised £ 378.1 million in sales in the three months to September 30, allowing bosses to increase guidance for the full year from £ 1.48 billion to £ 1.52 billion, up from £ 1.43 billion. Shares rose 4.2 percent, or 28.2p, to 694.8p, increasing the value of the shares of founder Matt Molding, 48, and his wife Jodie, by £ 24.8m to £ 610.9m. His father, brother and cousins also have a stake which is worth £ 4.1m, up from £ 169,000.
Rich choice: Matt Molding, founder of The Hut Group, and wife Jodie
A range of city and retail grandes have also benefited from the company’s success.
Former Tesco boss Terry Leahy has a 1.4 percent stake worth £ 94.4 million, billionaire tycoon Sir Tom Hunter has shares worth £ 132.1 million and former Debenhams boss Terry Green’s stake. is worth £ 17.2 million.
Private equity magnate and Hut Group director Dominic Murphy has a personal interest of £ 127.8 million, up from £ 5.2 million a day. Oliver Cookson, the entrepreneur who founded My Protein and sold it to The Hut for £ 58 million in 2011, invested £ 283 million and also owns £ 71.5 million in shares. The Hut, estimated at £ 6.4bn, £ 1bn more than the initial public offering, also announced the appointment of three advisers to the board as part of an effort to defuse the criticism of his ‘terrible’ destroy governance standards.
The three new hires were Damian Sanders, former senior partner at Deloitte and non-executive director at Cineworld, and PwC partners Adam Waller and Alan McGill.
The firm has not appointed an independent director to raise concerns over the oversight of the administration where Molding is surrounded by allies. De Hut insisted that it would deliver on its promise to appoint a non-executive director within 12 months of the IPO. Critics have emphasized the powers that Molding has retained as executive chairman, combining the roles of CEO and chairman. He has a ‘founder share’ that allows him to veto any acquisitions of the company, even if such a deal is in the best interest of independent shareholders.
The Hut has also put his property in his name and as a landlord, he raises £ 19.4m in annual rent.
In a noisy initial trading update, Hut said direct sales to consumers were up 51.3 percent over the three-month period as shoppers continued to turn to online sellers during the pandemic. Sales of beauty products, including the Espa brand, were up 45 percent to £ 157.5 million, and the food division, which includes My Protein, increased sales by 42.8 percent to £ 145.4 million.
Bosses applauded the ‘very strong’ demand during the period as more people made repeat purchases on its platforms. Revenues from their technology businesses, which help Nestlé and Hotel Chocolat sell directly to their consumers, were up 10.1 percent.
It had integrated 12 different courier companies worldwide with its platforms to enable fast delivery, and a ‘foundation finder’ to make it easier for customers to find the right product online.