Fast-fashion giant Boohoo has seen its profits and sales soar compared to pre-pandemic levels, as its market share in both the UK and the US doubled.

For the six months to August 31, 2021, Boohoo recorded sales of £976m, a 20% increase on the first half in 2020 and a 73% increase on the same period pre-pandemic. 

Gross profits for the period were £533.3m, up 19% on the same period last year and 73% on a two-year comparison. Adjusted profit before tax was £63.8m, down 20% on the same period in 2020 but 23% higher than pre-pandemic.

Adjusted EBITDA was £85.1m, while net cash for the period finished at £98.4m, down from over £344m in the same period last year. 

Boohoo said operational highlights for the period included the relaunch of Debenhams, the integration and relaunch of Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands, and the addition of distribution centres in Wellingborough and Daventry.

The retailer also purchased a new head office in London’s West End. 

In terms of full-year outlook, Boohoo said it expected sales to be up 20% or 25%, implying sales growth of between 25% and 30% in the second half of the year. 

However, the retailer flagged that “freight inflation” in its supply chain and wage inflation in warehouses would continue for the foreseeable future.

Boohoo said it expected to emerge from the pandemic “in a far stronger position” than it was in pre-Covid with a broader portfolio of brands, greater infrastructure capacity, more than 19 million global customers and “significantly improved supply chain visibility”. 

Chief executive John Lyttle said: “Looking back over the last 18 months, the group has delivered an excellent operational and robust financial performance, and that is a testament to all who have helped deliver this. We are delighted to have doubled our market share in key markets such as the UK and US, have significantly expanded our target addressable market through selective acquisitions, and are excited about the global potential for all of our brands. 

“In the first half of this financial year, our teams have yet again delivered: integrating four new brands, launching two new warehouses and strengthening our infrastructure in a manner that will allow our multi-brand platform to scale as planned.

”Entering the second half of the year, the group is well-positioned to accelerate its growth and our confidence in the group’s medium-term targets is unchanged. We will continue to invest across our platform, people and technology as we look to further cement our position as a leader in global fashion ecommerce.”