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Boohoo eyes deal opportunities as sales and profits jump

Boohoo is eyeing opportunities to acquire brands that have fallen victim to the coronavirus downturn, as its own profit and sales continue to grow.

“The priority over the past few weeks has been the safety of our employees and team,” said finance director Neil Catto. “But definitely, we have got the ability as we go forward to look at opportunities that may arise and acquire brands that may need to be helped through to the other side of the crisis.”

Last year, Boohoo acquired the Coast and Karen Millen brands — though not their stores — out of administration and has since integrated them with its own supply chain. The downturn across much of the fashion sector is expected to result in a spate of business failures.

Earlier this month, Oasis and Urban Warehouse, which were once part of the Coast and Karen Millen stable, went into administration. Cath Kidston followed on Monday, while Laura Ashley was an earlier casualty.

Boohoo, which also owns PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal, had net cash of £241m at the end of February. Rival Asos recently raised more than £200m in an equity issue — showing that well-positioned retailers can still access capital markets.