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Redbubble’s first half turns a $2m loss into a $42m gain

Online arts & crafts marketplace Redbubble doubled gross profit during the first half of the year, and took EBIT from a $2 million loss in the prior corresponding period to a $42 million gain.

Profit hit $144 million, up 118 per cent, with strong consumer demand coming in the most recent quarter over the holiday season. Marketplace revenue also jumped 96 per cent to $353 million.

This demand continued into January, but given the uncertain environment the industry at large is trading within, Redbubble has decided not to pay a dividend in the short to medium term.

Instead, the plan now, according to chief executive Michael Ilczynski, is to invest in the business to keep the train going.

“The strategic priority for the group now is to ensure we extend the market leadership with have established,” Ilczynski said.

“We intend to invest in both the artist and consumer experiences, to improve loyalty and retention and to ensure long-term growth.”

Redbubble typically focuses on acquiring new artists and users, building loyalty with these groups, and building up their fulfilment network in order to better provide physical products to customers.

Last year the business named Ilcyznski as its new CEO, after founder Martin Hosking stepped in to lead Redbubble when, following a review, former CEO Barry Newstead was ousted.

“As founder and as a director, like the rest of the board I was determined that our next CEO had the experience, skills and passion for growing our global community of independent artists and customers, plus the leadership track record and spark to inspire and develop our incredible global team,” Hosking said. “Michael is that person.”

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