Supergroup soars after profits jump

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The Independent Online

Julian Dunkerton, the chief executive of Supergroup, has hit back at its "sniping" critics after the owner of the Superdry brand more than doubled profits and delivered accelerating retail sales in recent weeks.

The figures put a turbo-charger under Supergroup's shares, which surged by 21 per cent yesterday to continue its volatile trajectory.

Mr Dunkerton, who founded the retailer in 1985, hoped its performance and share price jump would help to see "the end of all the sniping [about] the end of the brand and all that rubbish. It is an incredibly strong brand with an incredibly strong future".

Its critics have warned about the Superdry brand possibly falling out of fashion in the UK. Supergroup – which also operates the Cult clothing brand – posted group revenues higher by 71 per cent to £238m in the year to 1 May, boosted by the opening of 21 new shops in the UK and 44 overseas.

Mr Dunkerton said: "We are truly becoming a global brand." The sales surge drove Supergroup's pre-tax profits up by 110 per cent to £47.3m.

Despite dire trading conditions on the high street, Supergroup grew retail sales – including online and concessions – in the UK and Republic of Ireland by 48 per cent in the first 10 weeks of its new financial year, up from the 39 per cent growth reported in the quarter to 1 May.

Shares in Supergroup – which floated at 500p in March 2010 – jumped by 184.5p to 1,062p.