By Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) -British e-commerce company THG said it had rejected “numerous” approaches that failed to reflect its value as it warned inflationary pressure would result in broadly flat earnings this year, missing market forecasts by 22%.
THG, which has seen its shares plummet 88% in the last 12 months, said it had received indicative proposals from numerous parties in recent weeks.
“The board has concluded that each and every proposal to date has been unacceptable, failing to reflect the fair value of the group, and confirms that THG is not currently in receipt of any approaches,” Chief Executive Matthew Moulding said.
Shares in THG, which has nutrition, beauty and e-commerce platform businesses, fell sharply last autumn after a poorly received investor presentation.
The stock, which was trading at 837 pence as recently as January 2021, initially spiked on Thursday before giving up the gains to trade flat at 95 pence, resulting in a market valuation of 1.16 billion pounds ($1.52 billion).
THG said it was aware of the significant impact of short-term cost inflation on consumers and supply chains alike, and it intended to limit the impact by absorbing some of the pressure.
It said it was seeing cost increases across all of its lines, including whey, a major ingredient in its protein-based nutrition products, although it expected an improvement in the second half.
The group reported adjusted core earnings of 161 million pounds for 2021. It said the outcome this year would be “broadly in line” with 2021, with a weighting towards the second half.
Analysts were expecting a rise to 206.1 million pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus.
It said it still expected revenue to grow by 22-25% this year, before an impact of about 1% from Russia and Ukraine.
($1 = 0.7655 pounds)
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton, James Davey and Tomasz Janowski)