Superdry owner makes error in profit forecasts


Trendy clothing chain SuperGroup stunned investors today by admitting it had got its sums wrong when forecasting its performance.

The Superdry owner warned that profits will be much lower than the City expected and said "arithmetic errors" in the forecast of its wholesale business amounting to some £2.5 million were partly to blame.

It added that the rapid growth of the business, which also owns the Cult and SurfCo California brands, made it difficult to predict demand and stock levels, causing a further £2 million of sales to fall outside this financial year.

The company's shares slumped by a third - extending a rollercoaster ride for the stock since its flotation in March 2010 - as it admitted profits for the year to the end of this month will be around £7 million short of hopes at £43 million.

Matthew McEachran, a retail analyst at Singer Capital Markets, described the update as the "latest calamity" for the company.

He said: "We had put faith in the growth story but are placing our estimates and recommendation under review after this latest issue."

The group made a sparkling start to life on the stock market in 2010 but this came to an abrupt halt in spring 2011 when it admitted it missed the mini-heatwave that boosted other retailers.

And it scaled back profit expectations as recently as February when it said its store estate, which comprises 76 UK outlets and 74 concessions, followed a decent Christmas with weak trading in the final three weeks of January.