Superdry revenue plummets following “difficult” period
Superdry has posted a steep drop in half year revenue as it announced that its chief financial officer is to leave the business.
In the 26 weeks to 28 October, group revenue declined by 23.5% year-on-year to £219.8 million which the fashion retailer attributed to a challenging consumer retail market, unseasonal weather, and the underperformance of its wholesale division.
On a statutory basis, pre-tax profit came in at £3.3 million compared to a £17.7 million loss in the previous year as the retailer benefited from agreement for a joint venture and disposal in South Asia.
However, the softer revenue performance meant that Superdry reported an adjusted pre-tax loss for the first half period of £25.3 million compared to a loss of £13.6 million at the same time in the previous year,
Julian Dunkerton, Superdry founder and chief executive, said: “This has clearly been a difficult period for Superdry. A challenging consumer retail market, set against a backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and some remarkably unseasonal weather conditions have all combined to weaken the financial performance of the group.
“These macro and external factors have been further exacerbated by the underperformance of our wholesale segment. Whilst, to some extent, this was expected due to the decision to exit our US operations and the sale of the brand rights in non-core territories, the segment continues to prove challenging.”
Superdry said it is making progress with its turnaround strategy as it looks to improve efficiency, drive simplification, and establish a target operating model. It said work to right size its operating cost base should help it to make more than £40 million in savings in the current financial year.
The retailer said milder weather and heavy discounting across the fashion sector impacted trading in the run-up to Christmas. In addition, it reported that revenue in the 12 weeks to 20 January declined by 13.7%.
Dunkerton added: “Christmas trading proved challenging, and we do not expect market conditions to get any easier in the near-term. However, I firmly believe we are taking the right steps for the business and the brand, to return Superdry to profitability.”
Superdry has also announced that its chief financial officer Shaun Wills will step down on 31 March and that Giles David will become interim chief financial officer on 29 January. David will work with Wills to achieve an orderly transition over the next two months and is expected to be appointed to the Superdry board on 1 April.
David previously worked as chief financial officer of McColls, Casual Dining Group and Wiggle.
Dunkerton said: “Shaun is passionate about Superdry and has been a key figure in delivering a number of operational and strategic programmes. I am grateful for all of his contributions to the business, particularly his support on the ongoing turnaround plan, and I wish him all the very best with his future plans.
“Giles’s CFO experience and strong track record in consumer facing businesses will help us continue and progress the great work the team has done to date.”