SuperGroup's festive sales boosted by cold winter weather

Shares in the retailer were up by 10 per cent after its like-for-like sales rose 12.4 per cent

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The Independent Online

Sales of SuperGroup’s coats and knitwear were boosted by the arrival of cold winter weather on Boxing Day, the fashion retailer has said.

Shares in the retailer, which is led by the former Co-op boss Euan Sutherland, were up by 10 per cent after its like-for-like sales rose 12.4 per cent during the 11 weeks ending 10 January, despite an unseasonably warm autumn.

SuperGroup, which started life as a Cheltenham market stall back in the 1980s, is best known for its Superdry-branded clothes which are worn by the likes of David Beckham and now has 96 stores in the UK, and has expanded across the world.

Sutherland said that the company’s full-year results are expected to be in line with City expectations, even though one of its significant wholesale customers, Bank Fashion, collapsed last week.

The results mark a turnaround of sorts for the retailer after a profit warning in October.

"Our upgraded infrastructure was tested to the full by Black Friday and in the busy lead up to Christmas and has proven to be resilient and effective," he added.

Elsewhere, Shop Direct, which is owned by the reclusive billionaire Barclay Brothers, said Black Friday was its busiest day on record with orders at up 134 per cent year-on-year.

The company saw total group sales rise 4 per cent in the seven weeks ending 26 December - with an item branded with Disney’s hit animated film Frozen sold every 16 seconds across its businesses.

Shop Direct boss Alex Baldock spoke out in support of US import Black Friday.

He said: "It was huge for us and acted as a starting gun for Christmas shopping — the peak came earlier than in recent years. Traders like ourselves will thrive in the environment that Black Friday creates and we’re happy that it’s here to stay."

Another retailer, the Leicester-based Shoe Zone, today saw its pre-tax profits almost double to £10.6 million in the year ending October 4.

The group listed on the London Stock Exchange last year at 160p and its shares are now trading at 238p.