SHARES in The Hut Group, in which Sir Tom Hunter has a stake, plunged as the e-commerce retailer reported record revenue of £1.1 billion while it continues to be loss-making.

The company reported an operating loss of £89.2 million, widening from £17.4m for the same period the year before.

It said revenue performance was underpinned by "stable customer behaviour metrics" driving market share gains in the beauty and nutrition markets, in its half-year results ending June 30.

It was hit by non-recurring bills, which have reduced 20% year on year, including £11.3m of incremental international delivery costs, mostly in Asia, because of the absence of traditional delivery routes and elevated costs, £2.1m of distribution charges related to creating new purpose-built facilities, and £9.5m of administrative costs attributed to divisional reorganisation.

READ MORE: Shares slide as suitors walk away from online retail specialist THG

It reported adjusted Ebitda of £32.3m, down 60%, with medium-term guidance pointing to recovery in the second half and into next year.

It said it has “robust” cash on hand of £266m plus £170m undrawn, with a £156m credit approved banking facility and agreed disposal of £44m non-core freehold asset “further strengthening the group's balance sheet”.

Matthew Moulding, THG chief executive, noted 12.3% revenue growth "against a challenging global backdrop”, alongside a stronger performance during lockdown.

"Recently achieving 10 million app downloads from launch in early 2020, further strengthens the group's relationship with consumers and our first party data advantage," he said, adding it prioritised a "loyal customer base over maximising near-term gross margins focusing on retention and growth of consumers".

Sir Tom's West Coast Capital has a 1.39% in the group.

Shares in THG closed down 18.4%, or 9p, at 40p.