Superdry boost as sales bounce back
- Credit: PA
The owner of the Superdry brand bounced back from its autumn blues today after a strong Christmas driven by record online revenues and colder weather.
Cheltenham-based SuperGroup, which operates 96 stores and 64 concessions in the UK, said like-for-like sales lifted 12.4% in the 11 weeks to January 10, albeit against softer comparatives.
It said total sales lifted by 17.8% during the period as cold weather from Boxing Day onwards boosted outerwear and knitwear sales that had hit a difficult patch during the UK’s mild autumn.
The business recently saw half-profits fall by nearly a third but now expects to meet revised full-year profit targets of between £60 million and £65 million.
Shares jumped almost 11% today, offering a boost to former Co-op chief executive Euan Sutherland who joined the business in October before launching a wide-scale review of its operations.
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A former rising star on the stock market, the company has been no stranger to profit warnings in recent years. Last May, it warned that its profit would be at the lower end of expectations because of heavy discounting by rivals, a late Easter and a lack of spring stock.
But today Mr Sutherland said: “I am pleased to report a very strong set of results over the peak trading period.
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“Our upgraded infrastructure was tested to the full by Black Friday and in the busy lead-up to Christmas and has proven to be resilient and effective.
“A record performance from e-commerce combined with strong store operations led to what became a truly multi-channel Christmas.”
The business sells online from 20 country-specific sites that range across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
SuperGroup added: “Many customers chose to shop online with growing confidence in the group’s delivery promise, resulting in a record trading period from the e-commerce platform.”
Mr Sutherland replaced Julian Dunkerton, who co-founded the group from a market stall in Cheltenham, and moved to the newly-created role of product and brand director.
Brokers at Investec said: “A return to strong positive like-for-like growth in the third quarter should be welcomed. The scale is likely to surprise and bring comfort on the brand strength and proposition.”