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Losses at £80m Arcadia brands and Debenhams continue under Boohoo ownership


The key Arcadia Group brands and group affiliate Debenhams that were acquired by Manchester’s Boohoo Group following Arcadia’s entrance into administration in November 2020 have continued to make a loss under new ownership.

Boohoo acquired department store giant Debenhams in a £55m deal in January 2021, while fashion brands Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis were bought in a separate £25m deal the following month.

The latest losses filed with the LSE come despite attempts to streamline operations at the former Arcadia brands by closing physical stores and taking their operations online only.

Boohoo originally filed its group results to the end of February in May, reporting a 94 per cent drop in operating profits group-wide, however this did not include reports for individual brands, which have now been published.

The biggest losses since the takeover came at women’s fashion brand Dorothy Perkins. For the period from January 26, 2021, to February 28, 2022, the brand’s revenue totalled £74.9m and it made a pre-tax loss of £15.9m.

Fellow women’s fashion seller Wallis reported revenue of £27.8m for the same period, bringing a pre-tax loss of £4m.

Over at men’s fashion retailer-turned-etailer Burton, revenue totalled £31.3m and it made a pre-tax loss of £3.3m.

Debenham’s, meanwhile, probably the highest profile of Boohoo’s recent acquisitions and until recently a fixture of every major UK high street revenue stood at £56.9m and pre-tax loss at £11.7m for the slightly longer period of January 14, 2021, to February 28, 2022.

Boohoo’s board blamed factors including lower demand and rising returns post-lockdown for the disappointing results, although it did remain optimistic for the future, saying in a statement: “We remain extremely confident in the group’s future growth prospects, and as short-term demand uncertainty and material cost headwinds as a result of the pandemic unwind, the group’s belief that it continues to be capable of executing its strategy aimed at leading the fashion e-commerce market remains unchanged.”

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