SuperGroup, the young fashion business which owns the brand Superdry and chain Cult, grew total sales by 61%1 to £66m in the three months to May 1 but retail lagged far behind wholesale.
Wholesale sales grew 89% to £34m, rising at more than twice the rate of retail sales which grew 39% to £32m. SuperGroup’s online sales increased 180% in the quarter and doubled over the full year. It didn’t give like-for-likes for the period.
Total sales for the year ending May 1 rose 71% to £238m, with wholesale and retail sales both rising 71% to £91m and £147m respectively. SuperGroup said its pre-tax profit, to be announced in July, was expected to be within the range of current market expectations.
SuperGroup blamed the slower growth for the fourth quarter on the delayed delivery of warm-weather stock and fewer stores opening in the period compared to the previous year. In the fourth quarter just one store opened compared with six in the last quarter of its 2010 financial year.
The group said that it did not get its full range of summer stock out to stores quickly enough in view of the unseasonably warm weather earlier on this year. It said this issue has now been addressed.
Chief executive officer Julian Dunkerton said: “We have had an excellent year both financially and in terms of our development, particularly overseas where we opened 44 stores and SuperGroup now has a strong platform for an accelerated roll out. We have a strategy that will continue to deliver sustained growth both in the UK and overseas.”
During the year SuperGroup opened 21 standalone stores in the UK bringing its total to 60.
Sanjay Vidyarthi, analyst at Esprito Santo, said the performance was in line with expectations but that retail sales were weaker than anticipated, casting doubt on SuperGroup’s long term outlook. “We think there are some deeper issues starting to emerge here regarding the UK growth profile,” he said.
Bubb said the slowdown in SuperGroup’s retail operation from 92% growth in Q3 to “‘only’ 39% growth in Q4 was more substantial than expected, but added: “We don’t think [SuperGroup] should beat itself up too much, as we estimate that there would still have been good 10-15% like-for-like growth within that overall retail sales figure, and most retailers would die for that.”
He added that shares would take a hard knock but that wholesale sales were still “surprisingly strong” and there was “a fantastic long term growth outlook”.