Boohoo’s “prospects look good” as long as it can manage its way out of the post-Covid period, a City analyst has said.
Panmure Gordan has revealed its conclusions after the fashion retailer posted its results the 12 months to February 28, 2022, recently.
The firm has also dropped its target share price for Boohoo from 140p to 120p. On the afternoon of Friday, May 13, the company’s share price was just over 80p.
Boohoo recently confirmed that its pre-tax profits had slumped by more than 90% during its latest financial year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and a rise in return rates.
The Manchester-headquartered group has posted profits of £7.8m for the 12 months to February 28, 2022, down from the £124.7m it reported during the prior year.
The fall was despite Boohoo’s revenue increasing from £1.745bn to £1.982bn.
A Panmure Gordan statement said: “We are reducing sales and profit forecasts in line with the company’s guidance by nearly 20% at underling EBITDA level to £118m.
“More in-depth analysis shows that Boohoo has depended on the acquisitions it has made since calendar 2019 for all of its sales growth in FY21/22 with the core brands flat year on year.
“The flip side is the 93% increase in inventory which speaks to the capital deployment required for the brand expansion (as well as some Chinese New Year impacts).
“Boohoo is in a structural phase of its development that has been somewhat masked by the volatility around Covid. There is clearly risk associated with this.
“Given the uncertainties currently being experienced, Boohoo appears less confident that it can grow its non-UK business in the near-term but should be able to again see some growth from its UK immature brands.
“But the valuation has moved so that this is recognised to an extent.
“Our forecasts for FY23/24 and FY24/25 recognise a more gradual recovery of sales from the current slowdown than we had previously expected and improved EBITDA margins but again not as quickly as previously hoped for.
“We remain buyers with a reduced target price of 120p reflecting near-year forecast reductions”.
Boohoo’s brands include BoohooMAN, Karen Millen, Nasty Gal, PrettyLittleThing, Coast, Misspap, Oasis, Warehouse, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams.
Panmure Gordan added: “Despite the share price collapse we continue to believe that Boohoo has strong prospects once overall conditions become more settled.
“These results show that its brand acquisition strategy has begun to produce some clear contribution. There is more to go for in that area.
“The company itself seems to us to still be in the new ‘new reality’ phase where it is coming to terms with operating in a tougher environment than it thought possible even six months ago.
“Capital markets tend to recognise risk sooner than management generally in our experience. But this can offer opportunities if investors are happy with this model.
“In this case, own-brand profitability and the optionality of the acquired brands are positives, incoming competition possibly a negative and the infrastructure moves required to support the growth of the sales base a risk.
“We accept that the signals are not clear-cut here. But we cannot see much point in buying physical-based retailers except on a trade basis unless they are small or more based on a defendable service proposition.
“So long as Boohoo can manage its way out of the post-Covid period its prospects look good to us”.