Koovs revenues soar but losses widen

Catherine Neilan
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Waheed Alli has stepped back from his executive role

Revenues at Waheed Alli's Indian etailer Koovs have rocketed in the six months to 30 September - but losses have widened as the firm expands.

The figures

Sales at the London-listed fashion business soared 144 per cent to INR199.2m (£2m), up from INR81.7m last year. But losses widened to INR570.6m, up from INR359.5m last year.

The company said this was down to investment as it "continues to build presence in the market and grow revenue".

Why it's interesting

Koovs announced plans in September to raise up to £35m over three years to invest in marketing, product range and infrastructure to drive scale. The first tranche of that - £1.1m - was raised through shares issued to management in October.

The same month, the fast-growing company hired former Asos director Mary Turner, who will oversee Koovs' five-part strategy, which includes building its private label business, bringing international brands to India, develop delivery and price promises and making better use of technoloy.

This month it launched a major advertising campaign to raise awareness, which it says has already resulted in "an immediate increase in brand awareness". The website has been refreshed, with a new forum to discuss fashion "inspiration" and news, called Style Stories being launched.

What they said

Chairman Baron Alli said: "It has been another period of exceptional sales growth for Koovs.com, as young, fashion forward Indians continue to take Koovs to their hearts in increasing numbers.

"We have a clear strategy and fundraising plan to scale the business and deliver continued growth. I am delighted to welcome Mary Turner, our new chief executive, to the business who brings exceptional experience, energy and enthusiasm to our team."

Turner added: "It is an incredibly exciting time to join Koovs, as young, fashion-conscious Indians are searching for brands that share their passion for exclusive western fashion.

"I have always described Koovs as India's best kept secret and I am delighted to be part of the journey as we build our profile and ensure more young customers can share this secret."

In short

Koovs is clearly angling to become the Asos of India - but with Alli stepping back as Turner takes over the day-to-day running of the business, shareholders will want to be convinced of its longer-term prospects.

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