The online fashion group Boohoo has emerged as a Christmas winner after young shoppers made a beeline for its PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal websites.
Its arch-rival, Asos, issued a shock profit warning before Christmas, but Boohoo was able to report strong growth in demand for its £6 dresses and £10 jeans.
The company has raised its annual sales growth forecast by several percentage points. But despite the prospect of higher sales, shares closed down 9% amid disappointment it was not accompanied by the promise of higher profits.
UK sales at the Manchester-based group rose by a third to £180m over the last four months of 2018 and total group sales jumped 44% to £328.2m.
With hundreds of new styles launched on its website every day, Boohoo was one of the brands attacked by MPs last year for fuelling a throwaway fast-fashion culture.
But there was no evidence shoppers were put off by the criticism with sales at PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal up 95% and 74% respectively. Sales grew 15% at the more established Boohoo brand.
Boohoo, which was first listed on the stock exchange in 2014, targets a generation of younger consumers who shop on their phones and share fashion tips via social media.