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Superdry like-for-likes edge up despite profit slip

SuperGroup’s like-for-like retail sales grew 4% in the six months to October 30 despite pre-tax profits dipping, as outerwear and accessories flew off the shelves.

SuperGroup, the young fashion business which owns the brand Superdry and chain Cult, saw underlying pre-tax profit dip £0.5m to £13m as warehouse issues hit profits.

The retailer revealed in October that it suffered a “significant, temporary reduction both in the amount of stock and range of sizes reaching its UK stores” during the implementation of a systems upgrade at its premises in Barnwood, Gloucestershire.

The company said the problem will now shave an estimated £8.8m off full year profits despite the issue now being fully resolved.

Retail revenue at the company jumped 34% from £54.4m to £73.1m, with like-for-like sales in its retail arm growing 4%, while sales at its wholesale business soared 76% from £35.9m to £63m. Total revenues rose by 51% to £136.1m.

Chief executive officer Julian Dunkerton said jackets and accessories have been the two outstanding categories this season with hats, mittens and wallets bestsellers alongside Superdry’s latest windcheater. He added that due to the unseasonably mild weather T-shirts had also sold well during November.

Dunkerton said: “I am very excited about the movement of product this coming year. It’s the biggest move on we’ve had.” He added the product is now more “sophisticated”, for example with men’s shirting the brand had previously offered one type of collar but will now provide three options. Superdry is also to add tailoring to its offering next year.

Additionally, the brand will now hold stock in the UK for product categories including chinos, shirts and its Orange label hoodies, allowing stockists to top up on stock mid-season.

The company is set to open its new Regent Street store at the weekend, which it bought from Austin Reed in May. The Superdry store will open just the ground floor to begin with, while the upper three floors scheduled to open next year.

Over the period, SuperGroup opened 12 standalone stores, taking its portfolio to 72. It also added 21 stores to its international, licensed, franchised and owned store portfolio bring its total to 101. Sales from international markets continued to soar, climbing 132% over the six months, with international sales now contributed 65% of total sales.

Revenue from ecommerce almost doubled during the period and now represents 8% of group sales.

Dunkerton said despite the uncertain economic outlook the company is well positioned for this year’s peak Christmas trading period. In the six weeks since the end of the period SuperGroup’s retail arm has delivered a positive like for like performance and the wholesale business is performing well.

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