SuperGroup Plc provides its quarter four interim management statement covering the period from 27 January to 26 April 2014.
Total Group sales for the period have increased 12.4% to £97.8m. Whilst the Group experienced a more challenging Retail trading environment during the period, Wholesale has performed in line with the order book. The Group expects that due to the sales growth in the last period, profit for the full-year will be towards the lower end of consensus2. Importantly, the Group has successfully implemented its significant infrastructure projects whilst at the same time delivering total revenue growth for the financial year to 26 April 2014 of 19.6%. The Group has now passed the peak of its infrastructure investment and is well placed for the year ahead.
Total Retail sales in the period were up 13.3% at £54.6m. Like-for-like sales3, affected by the late Easter and product mix, were down 3.1% but, adjusted for the impact of reduced eBay sales, are down 1.3%. The lower level of clearance activity through eBay has delivered an improved gross margin. For the full financial year, sales have grown 17.7% to £285.4m and cumulative like-for-like growth is +3.2%, (+4.4% on an underlying basis). The Group opened 100,000 square feet4 of new space, as planned, delivering year-on-year space growth of over 18%.
Wholesale sales for the period increased 11.2% to £43.2m. This performance was impacted by the earlier phasing of sales falling into Q3. For the second half of the financial year, sales increased 22.0%, and rose 23.5% for the year as a whole. The Group has continued to extend the reach of the Superdry brand, having opened further franchised stores in France, India, Czech Republic, Italy and Indonesia.
The merchandising management system was successfully launched at the end of March and the relocation of the Group’s retail warehousing operation is now complete. These projects have been concluded with minimal disruption. All Retail inventory, including e-commerce, is now being dispatched from the new distribution centre. The Group has now entered its second phase of planned investment which includes payroll, human resources, finance and a point of sale system. There will be an update on progress at the time of the preliminary results.
Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We have delivered a solid performance over the past year whilst managing a smooth transition to our new distribution centre and the implementation of the merchandising management system. The reaction to our autumn/winter 2014/15 collections is encouraging and, with a strong pipeline of new stores, particularly in mainland Europe, positions us well for the year ahead. The strength of the Superdry brand and the investment we have made in our teams leaves me confident in our ability to deliver the growth strategy.”