News Column

SuperGroup reports super profit

July 11, 2014


SUPERDRY clothes chain owner SuperGroup is gunning for further overseas expansion, its chief executive said yesterday, after reporting profits had soared nearly 19 per cent during the last year.

The group's revenues rocketed 19.6 per cent to 430.9m with profits reaching 62m during the twelve months to 26 April.

"We have delivered a solid performance over the past year, with profits up 19 per cent, whilst managing the transition to our new distribution centre and the implementation of the merchandising management system," said chief executive Julian Dunkerton.

Over the past year, SuperGroup has bought out its agency operations in Germany and Spain, helping to boost its total European footprint by 18 per cent to 633,000 square feet.

"With a strong pipeline of new stores, particularly in mainland Eur-ope, we are well positioned for further profitable growth in the year ahead.

"The strength of the Superdry brand and the investment we have made in our business leaves me confident in our ability to implement and deliver the growth strategy," Dunkerton added in a statement.

Its German and Spanish acquisitions, as well as opening a new warehouse in Burton-upon-Trent, saw the group incur 9.1m in exceptional items during the year.

"International growth opportunities will provide the major sources of expansion for the group," said chairman Peter Bamford.

"The buy-out of the distributor in Spain and the German agency and franchise business, together with the opening of 59 new franchise stores, and the roll out of two new websites demonstrate the potential for further international growth."

Meanwhile ,SuperGroup's wholesale division, which also acts as a bellwether for demand for the brand, grew 23.3 per cent during the period, up from growth of 7.4 per cent in 2013.

SuperGroup'sLondon-listed shares rose 1.82 per cent to 1,061p yesterday.

The firm's share price remains down nearly 40 per cent from the start of April, when SuperGroup revealed a 3.1 per cent drop in like for like sales during the quarter to 26 April. The fall triggered memories of SuperGroup's series of profit warnings between 2011 and 2012, which had sent its stock plummeting to an all time low of around 267p in June 2012.

ANALYST VIEWS By Oliver Smith WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF SUPERGROUP'S FULL YEAR RESULTS? KATE CALVERT INVESTEC With 2014 having been a year of infrastructure investment, we expect the operational benefits to start being felt in 2015. We see material growth opportunities not only to maximise UK profitability but also driving the online business and rolling out in Europe.

JOHN STEVENSON PEEL HUNT With management time and focus targeted largely on delivering the warehouse move and system changes over the past year, we believe performance will benefit from a shift in emphasis back onto growth. 2015 expected cash of 125m+ suggests shareholder returns will come sooner rather than later.

FREDDIE GEORGE CANTOR FITZGERALD Having almost halved in value over the last quarter, the stock, which has been the worst performing retail stock in FTSE 250 this year, is rated at 16.6 times 2015 earnings, putting it on a discount to sector and peers. We still believe the firm has a great opportunity to develop its online sales and overseas.

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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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