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SuperGroup sales rise as co-founder resigns to set up design lab

SuperGroup co-founder James Holder has resigned as a director and employee of the company in order to lead the development of a new in-house product innovation consultancy called SuperDesign Lab and spend more time on his personal interests.

Superdry sport dual gender

The news comes as SuperGroup, owner of Superdry, revealed total group revenue grew 21.1% to £589.5m for the 52 weeks to April 23.

It said profits for the full year were expected to be in the range of £72.5m to £74m. It will announce its preliminary results for the full year on July 14.

Initial losses in new launch markets North America and China will lead to a “small year-on-year dilution” of operating margin, it said.

Revenues in the retail division increased by 24.5% to £416.1m, while wholesale was up 13.7% to £173.4m. Like-for-like sales grew 11.3%.

The group’s net cash position at April 30 was £102m, up from £78m this time last year.

It added 136,000 sq ft of trading space overall, representing a year on year growth of 17.8%. It opened 26 stores during the year, closed two and relocated five.

It now has 662 stores and concessions in 51 countries, as well as 26 international websites.

The group plans to open two distribution centres during 2016 to serve its retail customers in Europe and North America.

Chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “The group has traded robustly throughout the final quarter as we continue to deliver our strategy to create a global lifestyle brand. We have opened 24 net new stores across our targeted European markets and have a strong pipeline of new stores for the new financial year.

“During the quarter the group paid its first dividend in line with our progressive dividend policy whilst retaining sufficient capital to support our investment programme. Our focus remains on the extension of the Superdry brand and execution of clear growth opportunities, underpinned by continued investment in infrastructure to strengthen our business.”

Holder, who founded young fashion brand Bench in 1992, went on to set up SuperGroup with Julian Dunkerton, who is now product and brand director, in 2003. As brand and design director, Holder currently heads up SuperGroup’s team of in-house designers.

The SuperDesign Lab is being set up as a new entity owned by SuperGroup. Holder will remain in his current role until June 1, when he will move to the lab, which is also based in Cheltenham.

The lab will focus on product innovation and range extensions, such as the sport and the premium collections. Holder will continue to work closely with the in-house design team.

Holder said: “We have significantly strengthened the design team over the past 18 months and the heads of menswear and womenswear have been driving the design of the core ranges during this period, which has allowed me to concentrate on new innovation.

“To add further focus to this I will lead the creation of the SuperDesign Lab, which will allow the business to accelerate its programme of product innovation.”




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