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SuperGroup reports ‘disappointing’ first half trading

SuperGroup has revealed trading in the first half of the year was disappointing, but said it expects a much stronger second half and has made no further changes to its full-year profit guidance.

The Superdry owner’s sales rose 8.4% to £208.2m in the 26 weeks to October 25. Gross margin was up 220 basis points to 59%; however, underlying profit before income tax was £12.5m, down from £17.9m in 2013.

Retail revenue was up 12.5%, but like-for-likes fell 4.1%. Full-price online sales were up 15.9%, while wholesale revenue rose by 2%.

Like many other retailers, SuperGroup was hit by the warm autumn weather and, in October, lowered its full-year profit guidance to £60m to £65m, down from its previous forecast of between £69m and £73m.

Today SuperGroup emphasised that, historically, the “vast majority” of its profits are generated in the second half – and said it was on track to deliver the revised profit forecast.

Chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “SuperGroup is an exciting business with a strong brand and significant growth opportunities which, during this period, has suffered from widely publicised external factors. Additionally, I have identified that there are some parts of our operations that we can improve.

“I am reviewing every aspect of the business, including the execution of our strategy, cost management and capital allocation and will report our conclusions in the spring.”

He added: “We are well prepared for the important peak season and remain on track to deliver profits within guidance.”

SuperGroup opened 12 new stores in the period, adding 46,000 sq ft to its portfolio. Twenty new international franchise and licensing arrangements took the total number of stores to 225.

It has increased its owned trading space in mainland Europe by 42% since the year end and is on track to reach its full-year target of 80,000 to 100,000 sq ft of incremental owned space.

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