Super first half for Supergroup as weak pound pushes up sales

Emma Haslett
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Get parka, wear parka, fly: Supergroup's shares rose this morning (Source: Getty)

Supergroup reported a strong performance in its first half, thanks to the weak pound.

The figures

Supergroup, the owner of anorak purveyor Superdry, said revenues jumped 31.1 per cent to £334m in the six months to the end of October, pushed up by a 12.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, while online made up 21.6 per cent of total revenue, up from 19.2 per cent last year.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose 8.8 per cent to £21m, while underlying earnings per share rose to 21p, from 20p last year.

The company said it was hiking its interim dividend by 25.8 per cent to 7.8p. Shares rose 1.3 per cent to 1,740p in early trading.

Why it's interesting

Last year was a shaky one for many of the UK's fashion retailers, but Superdry bucked the trend, partly thanks to the weak pound: today it reiterated sterling's weakness accounted for a third of revenue growth during the period.

Much of Supergroup's growth was driven by its wholesale division, where revenues increased almost 44 per cent to £118.8m. Euan Sutherland, the company's newly-trendy chief executive, said investment in expanded distribution capability and in its development markets had converted to profitable growth.

That suggests the company is bucking the trend of the wider UK fashion industry, which Kantar reported this morning is in the grip of its steepest decline since August 2009, with sales falling two per cent in the 52 weeks to 18 December.

But Sutherland remained optimistic: "The board remains confident in delivering full year underlying profit before tax in line with expectations," he said.

What Supergroup said

Sutherland added:

Our focused strategy continues to deliver with new product innovations building sales, a strong pipeline of new international store opportunities, both owned and via franchise relationships, and clear momentum in our e-commerce proposition. The next generation store concept provides a further growth opportunity for the brand.

In short

Supergroup's focus on expanding abroad has paid off, with the weak pound pushing up earnings.

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