Supergroup’s sales warm up from the cold

Kasmira Jefford
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SUPERGROUP said the colder weather helped to boost sales of its trademark coats and hoodies in the run-up to Christmas, despite reporting a near one-third drop in half-year profit that sent its shares tumbling yesterday.

The Superdry owner posted a pre-tax profit of £13.9m in the six months to 28 October, down 31 per cent on last year due to a write-down on its European business, acquired in 2010.

Excluding the write-down pre-tax profits rose 13.1 per cent to £14.7m – ahead of consensus forecasts – on sales up 16.2 per cent to £158.2m.

Chief executive Julian Dunkerton said “ongoing investment in design and the growing presence of the brand” have helped boost sales both in the UK and overseas.

Superdry opened 45 stores, franchises and concessions in the period including its first store in India, bringing its estate to 375.

The group is recovering from a litany of mistakes and IT glitches that led to three profit warnings last year.

“This is the fourth hiccup-free statement in a row from Supergroup,” Philip Dorgan, retail analyst at Panmure Gordon said.

“The ‘Beast from the East’ [the cold weather front] has been good for Supergroup. December payday gave sales a major boost in common with other retailers.”

UK like-for-like sales were up 3.9 per cent, while wholesale sales rose 7.9 per cent on a constant currency basis.

The group launched websites in Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. The internet now accounts for 10.2 per cent of sales, up from to 8.2 per cent.