Supergroup’s sales pick up

Kasmira Jefford
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THE OWNER of the Superdry fashion label said it was confident its distribution capability would return to normal levels later this month, as it reported a surge in second quarter sales.

Last month SuperGroup, one of last year’s most successful stock market flotations, warned that its full-year profits would be hit after problems with its warehouse management system left its shops short of clothing.

In its interim management statement yesterday the company, well-known for its trademark T-shirts and hooded tops, said sales rose 42 per cent to £82m in the three months to 30 October, compared with growth of 66 per cent in the previous quarter.

Founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the group “was well on the road to rectifying the situation” and that it had learned some “valuable lessons” in the process.

Shares rose as much as 6.7 per cent yesterday before closing down 0.76 per cent at 730.5p. After floating 20 months ago at 500p, its shares reached highs of almost £18 in February after reporting stellar sales.

However, a poorly received fourth quarter trading statement in May followed by October's profit warning prompted a dramatic reversal of fortune.

The company warned last month that the warehousing problems would wipe between £6-9m off its full-year profits, sending its shares tumbling.

Supply problems also contributed to the slowdown in retail sales during the period, which grew by 23 per cent to £40m.

Supergroup maintained yesterday that further “progress has been made in restoring the replenishment capability and further improvements are expected during November”.

Wayne Brown, an analyst at Collins Stewart said this suggested issues impacting the UK “are ongoing” which highlights their “cautious stance” leading into the busiest trading period of the year.

The group said it was on track to open 70 stores this financial year.