LONDON Feb 7 SuperGroup, the British
company behind the Superdry fashion brand, said it was on course
to meet year forecasts after posting a 12.3 percent rise in
continuing its recovery after a series of setbacks last year.
Shares in the group, whose fans include royal favourite
Pippa Middleton, Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and singer
Ed Sheeran, rose 8 percent on Thursday after it said total sales
of its trademark jackets, T-shirts and hooded tops were 115.1
million pounds ($180.2 million) in the three months to Jan. 27.
The outcome reflected broader product ranges as well as
systems and operational improvements.
Sales had risen 16.2 percent in the first half.
SuperGroup forecast a year to April 28 2013 gross margin
50-75 basis points higher than the previous year, reflecting
lower cotton prices and a more favourable channel mix in the
Prior to Thursday's update, analysts were forecasting a
full-year pretax profit of 40-52 million pounds, with a
consensus of 49.3 million pounds.
Shares in SuperGroup have risen 44 percent over the last six
months on the back of three reassuring statements, and were up
50 pence at 681 pence at 0834 GMT, valuing the business at about
548 million pounds.
However, the stock is still well down on its high of 1,899
pence set in early 2011, following three profit warnings and a
litany of management mistakes, including the botched
implementation of a warehouse IT system and arithmetical
With Britain facing a possible triple-dip recession many
retailers have been finding the going tough as consumers fret
over job security and a squeeze on incomes. SuperGroup has
performed better than most.
Retail sales in the third quarter rose 14.4 percent to 89.8
million pounds, with sales at stores open a year up 10.6
Wholesale sales were 25.3 million pounds, up 5.4 percent,
while the spring/summer order book is up 20 percent.
"Although trading conditions remain volatile and
unpredictable, the year to date results, and the early
indications of the response to the new season range, have
provided us with ever increasing confidence for the future."
said Chief Executive Julian Dunkerton.
($1 = 0.6389 British pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Paul Sandle)