Shares in fashion retailer SuperGroup, the maker of Superdry clothing, have soared by nearly nine per cent after unveiling a better-than-expected 54.4 per cent rise in profits.
The group made an underlying pre-tax profit of £19.3m in the 26 weeks to 24 October, with revenue up 22.3 per cent to £254.7m.
Excluding its ailing North American business, which it is the process of turning around after buying back the licence this year, underlying profits rose by 73.6 per cent to £21.7m.
The surge in profits, which comfortably beat analyst forecasts of £18.5m, was against weak comparatives last year when SuperGroup warned on profits, blaming the unusually warm autumn weather.
Since then the retailer has got back into shape, launching a new collection designed by Luther and The Wire actor Idris Elba last month and bolstering its womenswear division with new ranges such as Superdry Sport.
Retail like-for-like sales were up 17.2 per cent compared with a 4.1 per cent decline the same time last year, while online participation of retail sales increased to 19.2 per cent.
SuperGroup’s shares, which fell sharply on Tuesday after Liberum analysts suggested the retailer may struggle to keep up with the fierce competition on the high street, bounced back last night, closing up 12.14 per cent to 1,700p.
Chief executive, Euan Sutherland, who took over as chief executive last year, said: "SuperGroup has made good progress in realising its strategic objectives in the first half and has delivered profitable growth, while continuing to invest in the business. Central to this is the ongoing process to get ever closer to our customers who clearly appreciate the product innovation that is widening the Superdry offer.
He said the business was “well placed” for peak trading in the run-up to Christmas but warned that comparatives for the second half of the year would be tougher.
The retailer added 14 net new and wholly-owned stores in the first half and 23 new international franchised and licensed stores, growing its total estate to 613 stores in 51 countries worldwide.