THG plans to float beauty arm in 2022 as Softbank speeds first-half growth

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THG PLC (LSE:THG), parent of the Hut Group, said it will spin off its beauty arm in an IPO next year after it was one of the fastest growing parts of the business in the first half of the year.


After agreeing to sell a GBP1.6bn stake in its Ingenuity tech platform to Japanese tech investment titan Softbank in May, as part of a wider investment and trading partnership, THG said it is also mulling a potential spin-off of Ingenuity and its nutrition business.


The first half of 2021 also saw nine of SoftBank’s portfolio companies use Ingenuity’s technology to help sell their products online, including the planned ‘go live’ in 2022 of a new fulfilment service called FIR/ST. This combines AutoStore’s automated storage and recovery system with Ingenuity’s warehouse management and courier system, “creating a single, headless, end-to-end global fulfilment software solution”.


Powered by these commissions, Ingenuity’s ‘commerce’ revenues surged 166% to GBP18.3mln.


This helped group revenue jump 45% to GBP958.8mln with THG Beauty sales up 56% to GBP460.8mln. Nutrition was up 27% to GBP328.4mln.


Underlying profits (adjusted EBITDA) swelled 39% to GBP81.2mln.


For the full year THG said it was confident of growing revenue 35% to 38%.


Speaking on the Softbank partnership, Matthew Moulding, executive chairman and CEO, said: “We are only at the start of this relationship, but we are pleased to have already established multiple live commercial partnerships between the SoftBank portfolio and our Ingenuity platform. We continue to see an acceleration in levels of enquiry from global enterprises looking to leverage the Ingenuity platform, and I believe the global growth opportunity for Ingenuity to be unparalleled.”


He said separation work is being completed to enable a listing of THG Beauty during 2022, with this commitment reflecting the division’s continued organic growth “and its position as the industry’s digital strategic partner globally, its growing US footprint, expanding global social media presence and vertically integrated model”.


He said a decision on whether to separately list THG Nutrition and the timing “will remain under consideration”.

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