Superdry owner returns to form with 22% rise in profits
Superdry’s online sales rose by 28% last year and are now worth 11% of group revenues. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
SuperGroup, the retailer behind street fashion brand Superdry, hailed a return to form as it reported a 22% surge in pre-tax profits.
Revenues were up 15% to £360m for the year to April, as the retailer accelerated its international expansion with new outlets in France, Spain, Denmark, India and Lebanon.
Floor space in the UK and Europe was increased by 13.8% to reach 536,000 square feet, helped by the opening of six stores in the UK, including a flagship 16,000 sq ft store in the Trinity shopping centre in Leeds. The group rebranded its 20 Cult stores as Superdry last year, to capitalise on the growing popularity of the brand, whose fans include David Beckham and Pippa Middleton. The group plans to extend its floor space in the UK and Europe by a further 80,000-100,000 sq ft in 2014.
The group has also been investing in its internet business, with 10 new local language sites including Italian and Norwegian. Online sales rose by 28% and are now worth 11% of the group’s revenues, as customers in more than 100 countries log on to order the retailer’s trademark hooded sweatshirts and Japanese-character embossed rucksacks.
Thursday’s financial report will be welcomed by investors after a turbulent time in 2011-12, when the group issued a string of profit warnings following IT problems and an incorrect forecast of demand for its goods.
Dan Coen at advisory firm Zolfo Cooper said the retailer had gone a long way to prove cautious investors wrong. “With ambitious international expansion plans, as well as increasing its online offering overseas, the retailer’s success does not look like it will be cooling off anytime soon.”
Julian Dunkerton, the chief executive of SuperGroup and creator of the Superdry brand, said the financial performance was a return to form.
He praised the progress in womenswear and said he was confident of “significant opportunities for growth across all channels and geographies”. He added: “I am pleased by the performance of 2013 ranges and the early reaction to 2014 product and remain confident in the prospects for the group.”
Primark also shared in the good news on the high street, as it reported a 22% increase in total sales over the 40 weeks until mid-June. The budget fashion chain’s performance helped its parent company, Associated British Foods, to a 9% increase in revenues.