SuperGroup's share price soars 12 per cent as it shrugs off high street blues to post double-digit growth

Catherine Neilan
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The new dividend policy is giving shareholders money to pocket (Source: Getty)
uperGroup's share price soared more than 12 per cent in early trading, after reporting double-digit growth for the full year.

The figures

Group revenues at the SuperDry parent company rose 21.1 per cent to £589.5m for the full year to 23 April, with sales at the retail division climbing 24.5 per cent with "broadly equal contributions from new space and like-for-like sales".

Wholesale revenue grew 13.7 per cent, buoyed by a good second half performance, in which sales increased by 19.6 per cent.

Profit is expected to come in between £72.5m and £74m - an increase of between 14 and 17 per cent on last year.

"Progress in North America and China continues in line with our plans and initial losses in these markets will be in line with market guidance, leading to a small year-on-year dilution of operating margin", SuperGroup said.

The firm had reported a 54.4 per cent rise in half year profits. In today's announcement, it said performance was strong against a challenging comparative last year, although it should be noted that this is the group’s lowest volume trading period".

But against a wider backdrop of doom and gloom on the high street, these figures suggest that SuperGroup needn't be so modest.

Why it's interesting

At one point it looked like SuperGroup had passed its peak, with the company issuing profits warnings and suffering the loss of a number of key members of its senior team, but the brand has consistently delivered strong results in the last 18 months.

Having broadened its range beyond the traditional hoodies and outerwear to include more feminine dresses and summer-wear is clearly paying off.

So, too, is its new strategy to pay out dividends. SuperGroup's share price is up almost 18 per cent in the last year - although it has declined considerably more recently.

SuperGroup SuperGroup | mobile image

SuperGroup also revealed this morning that founder and brand and design director James Holder will resign his post and position on the board to lead the SuperDesign Lab as a "design hot house" to drive further product innovation for the business.

Founder and product director Julian Dunkerton said: "It has been a pleasure to work alongside James to deliver SuperGroup's development and growth. I am delighted that we will retain his brand innovation skills under an exclusive agreement, while allowing him more flexibility to explore his personal interests. With clear opportunities to grow Superdry even further, I remain very enthusiastic about continuing to work alongside Euan, the wider SuperGroup team and James on the next exciting phase of our journey."

What SuperGroup said

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 while retaining sufficient capital to support our investment programme. Our focus remains on the extension of the Superdry brand and execution of clear growth opportunities, under-pinned by continued investment in infrastructure to strengthen our business."

What analysts said

Freddie George, analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said: "These figures were significantly better than our forecasts considering that April has been a poor trading month for the retail sector and confirm that the company is very much in a growth phase.

"The only disappointment, however, is that James Holder, who is one of the founders of the business and the brand and design director, is to resign his current position and split his time between running a ‘Superdesign Lab’ for SuperGroup and on his personal interests.

"His contribution to the success of SuperGroup cannot be understated."

In short

SuperGroup's double-digit growth shows there is still life on the high street - for now.

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