Software and online retail giant THG has handed more than 700 of its employees shares worth around £20m.
The Manchester-headquartered group’s move to award the shares to 708 members of staff comes after it gave out £36m in shares to 586 employees during 2022.
THG currently has a market capitalisation of around £750m with its shares trading at about 60p each.
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Writing on LinkedIn, chief executive and co-founder Matthew Moulding said: “Nobody warns you about the level of focus thrown upon founders joining the LSE and I’ve had to adjust quickly to rolling with the punches over the past two years.
“THG’s culture, values, and people are often talked about, especially by people who have never made the trip North to visit one of the UK’s largest tech campuses.
“People aren’t perfect, and companies are built on people. But, given the constant daily requests I get from candidates for any possible help in enrolling onto our highly regarded graduate programme, we might be doing a good few things right.
“Little is ever said about the big successes at THG. It wouldn’t take much to find them either. But one of our biggest successes is our culture and it’s something I’m incredibly proud of.
“A good example of this was the RNS we issued to the market last Friday where we announced that we have awarded 708 staff at THG with c£20m of shares.
“These shares are now in the hands of those 708 staff members. This latest share award is in addition to the £36m of shares that were issued to 586 staff during 2022.
“I’ve lost count of the many hundreds of millions of pounds of shares given to THG staff over the past 15 years. But one thing is for certain, our culture of positively changing lives is at the very core of our DNA.
“While these share awards are naturally a cost to shareholders, the biggest cost always falls with me as the group’s largest shareholder. (Me and my family hold a c23% stake in THG).
“Let’s be clear, we are not soft or deluded at THG. From the beginning of 2022, we steadily reduced the group’s headcount by c2,000 people via the roll-out of automation and close management of staff attrition.
“No big redundancy programmes needed, instead a tight focus on internal movements to replace leavers as we moved through the year.
“This gave the group time to adjust to a new operating model, fit for a high inflation environment, while being one of the few companies to deliver sales growth in 2022.
“Sure, global tech has been the first to make adjustments to fit a changed world. But make no mistake, the same changes are coming across many other sectors in 2023 – from construction, manufacturing, high street to even media.
“Let’s see how the cultures of each organisation respond, but I believe in doing things differently, as with Friday’s £20m share awards. I’m backing THG.”
Last month THG warned its profits for 2022 will be lower than previously expected, despite its sales rising to record levels.
The group said it now forecasts its adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of between £70m and £80m for the last 12 months, down from the £100m-£130m forecast in its last update in October.
In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, THG added that higher raw material prices as well as the timing of large contacts in its Ingenuity division were also contributing factors.
The group also revealed it’s reviewing “lossmaking categories and territories within the THG OnDemand division”, which includes websites such as Zavvi and Pop in a Box.
It said the move would increase its focus on its core beauty and nutrition ecommerce businesses as well as Ingenuity.
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