Online retailer The Hut, owner of sites including and, has posted surging revenue growth for the first quarter of the year and agreed a new three-year banking facility.

Group revenue advanced 71% in the period. Each division grew but the increase was driven by the growth of, which generated revenues up 87% in the first quarter. Sales growth was 45% when The Hut bought it in May 2011.

Last month the etailer renewed and extended its banking facilities with Barclays.

The group is continuing its strategy to diversify its category and customer mix through its 10 websites, which span the categories of consumer, lifestyle, prestige and technology, and moving away from entertainment, reducing its reliance on entertainment revenues from 100%in 2009 to 35% in 2012. The Hut withdrew from music and books categories at the beginning of the year.

It will launch in the third quarter of this year year “to broaden the lifestyle division’s product offering and to reach a broader demographic”.

The retailer delivered “strong organic growth” across its prestige and consumer divisions.

The Hut said the prestige division which includes beauty etailer consolidated its market leading position generating revenue growth across both its male and female beauty sites, as HQ Hair and Mankind posted 30% revenue growth.

In the consumer category, entertainment site Zavvi increased revenue by 33% in a declining market.

The Hut chairman Angus Monro said: “Founders Matt Moulding and John Gallemore have built a team which has developed the sector’s leading proprietary technology platform, grown UK and international customers to in excess of 6 million and which is delivering growth across each of its categories.

“The group’s business model is very well positioned as it continues to reduce the mix of entertainment by growing higher margin category sales, particularly against the backdrop of a challenging high street environment and the continuing sales channel shift online.”

In line with its strategy The Hut completed its withdrawal in 2011 from White Label operations, which, in 2009, accounted for 40% of group revenues.