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The Hut Group to snap up Cult Beauty in £275m deal

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Ecommerce firm The Hut Group (THG) has sealed a £275 million deal to buy online-only beauty retailer Cult Beauty.

It said the acquisition will boost THG’s sales for the next full year by £140 million, with an earnings increase of around £10 million.

Cult Beauty was launched in London in 2008 by co-founders Jessica DeLuca and Alexia Inge and has built a strong following of customers searching for emerging, independent brands.

THG said the move will be “highly complementary” to the rest of its beauty portfolio, which includes brands such as Lookfantastic.

The firm said it saw a “compelling opportunity” to grow Cult Beauty internationally, with less than half of its sales currently from outside the UK.

The ecommerce giant – valued at more than £5 billion in a mammoth stock market float last year – also told investors it is on track to pass previous sales growth targets for the current financial year.

It raised its guidance by around £50 million to sales of £2.23 billion for the current full year, representing 38% growth compared with a previous forecast of 35%.

Matthew Moulding, executive chairman and chief executive of THG, said: “Cult Beauty is frequently the partner of choice for emerging indie brands due to its personalised, content-led approach and enthusiastic consumer base who are continually seeking new, innovative solutions to complement their beauty routines.

“Cult Beauty’s first-to-market reputation makes the brand an exciting fit for our THG Beauty division.

“We anticipate fully migrating Cult Beauty on to the THG Ingenuity platform by the end of the year (within the first six months of acquisition), giving the brand access to the global digital features to underpin significant future growth.”

Shares in THG were 2.6% higher in early trading.

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