Morrisons’ outgoing CFO joins The Hut

FAST-GROWING online retailer The Hut Group has added the outgoing chief financial officer at Morrisons to its board of directors.

The Northwich-based company said Richard Pennycook’s vast range of retail experience will be “highly complementary” to the group.

The appointment is fuelling speculation that the business is planning an IPO for next year. The Hut Group has illustrious backers including Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Stuart Rose.

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Angus Monro, chairman of The Hut Group, said: “We are thrilled that Richard is joining our board. He is one of the most respected retailers in the UK and his wealth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to build the group into a major global ecommerce player.”

Mr Pennycook, who joins as a non-executive director, said the group operates “a compelling and disruptive business model with tremendous growth opportunities”.

The Hut Group operates multiple websites selling non-perishable consumer goods.

It launched in 2004, established an in-house technology platform in 2006 and subsequently launched and acquired a range of retail sites entering entertainment in 2009, fashion in 2009, gifting and health & beauty in 2010 and sports nutrition in 2011.

The group reported a 54 per cent increase in sales to £66.2m in the first half of 2012 with core earnings of £4m.