British online retail platform THG on Thursday retained its annual profit outlook, and said sales trends were "gradually improving" into the second half especially at its beauty and online platform for third-party brands.

THG expects its annual revenue from continuing operations to come in flat or drop up to 5% after the e-commerce firm posted a 6.1% fall in the first half of the year.

"Inflationary pressures provided significant challenges to consumers and businesses alike over the past 18 months. Our strategy of supporting our consumers through 2022, sacrificing margins in the short-term, is bearing fruit," founder and CEO Matthew Moulding said in a statement.

The company reported adjusted core earnings of 47.1 million pounds ($58.81 million) for the six-month period ended June 30, broadly in line with its forecast range.

After a bumper $7 billion London IPO in 2020, THG has had several setbacks including profit warnings that have weighed heavily on its shares and led to several takeover approaches, all of which have been rejected either publicly or privately.

THG sold some non-core assets and loss-making brands in the past year following a strategic review.


($1 = 0.8008 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)