SuperGroup boss Julian Dunkerton declared yesterday that sales were back in shape after the colder weather and the approach of autumn drove customers back into its stores.
The owner of the Superdry fashion brand posted a 3.7 per cent decline in like-for-like sales in the first quarter of the year to 27 July after facing a tough comparative period last year.
But further figures show like-for-like sales were down by only one per cent for the 18 weeks to 30 August, implying that sales bounced back by six per cent over the past five weeks.
The news cheered the City as shares rallied 13.86 per cent yesterday.
“The shift from -3.7 per cent to -1 per cent in a few weeks shows huge support for our autumn range,” Dunkerton told City A.M. “There is a bit of a combination, with the early colder weather, but really it is about the range being good. The public has decided they like it, particularly the jackets.”
Dunkerton, who founded the group as Cult Clothing in Cheltenham in 1985, said this autumn would usher in Superdry’s “broadest and best range of jackets” and is placing his bets on its “Windtrekker” becoming a best-seller.
SuperGroup has had a chequered history since floating on the London Stock Exchange in 2010. After an impressive start, its shares were then hit by string of profit warnings caused by IT glitches at its warehouses.
Dunkerton overhauled the management team, bringing in former John Lewis director Susanne Given as chief operating officer in 2012. This allowed him to focus on designing better products and improving ranges.
Despite a profit warning in May, it delivered a 19 per cent jump in profits last year to £62m, thanks to its rapid expansion and improvement in its ranges. Analysts are forecasting a pre-tax profit of £70.3m for this year.
Total retail sales in the first quarter rose 13.6 per cent to £60.4m while wholesale revenues jumped 21.6 per cent to £26.6m.
SuperGroup has been firing on all cylinders with further expansion and now has 526 stores and franchises across the globe. It opened a net eight stores in the period, as well as franchises in France, Spain, Portugal, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia.