SuperGroup chief says the doubters were wrong as its recovery beats expectations

 

The founder of the high street retailer SuperGroup claimed yesterday that his company had "proved the doubters wrong" following a rocky few years since its IPO in 2010.

Julian Dunkerton hailed a "return to form" as the group's results beat City expectations and he outlined plans to spend £30m boosting sales of its SuperDry brand, which has been worn by the likes of David Beckham.

SuperGroup made an impressive start to life as a listed company before its shares were rocked by three profit warnings and embarrassing IT problems. Since then, City scribblers have cast doubt on its prospects, although a recent rally has seen its shares rise to 858p, after gaining 49p yesterday, compared with its 500p float price.

Overall, pre-tax profits rose 0.8 per cent to £51.8m during the year ending 28 April, while revenues rose 15 per cent to £360.4m and like-for-like sales were up 5.7 per cent.

"Investment in infrastructure and the strengthening of the management team, with some notable new hires, underpin our disciplined growth strategy," Mr Dunkerton, who founded the group as Cult Clothing in 1985, said.

"The enduring appeal of the SuperDry brand and the improvements and extensions to the ranges, in particular the progress made in womenswear, gives me confidence that there are significant opportunities for growth across all channels and geographies," he added.

SuperGroup plans to spend the £30m opening new shops in the UK and Europe as well as 50 franchised stores in other parts of the globe. The group, which said trading during the first nine weeks of the year had been "encouraging", said it had also agreed to spend €2.3m (£2m) buying out its Spanish distribution partner.

Jean Roche, an analyst at Panmure, said: "SuperGroup has produced a set of preliminary results which are better than our and the market's expectations.

"Full-year forecasts are likely to be upgraded to the tune of 3 per cent- 5 per cent on the back of today's results."

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