Shares in Superdry (SDRY) strutted 15.3% higher to 328.5p on Thursday after the Julian Dunkerton-bossed fashion retailer delivered news of strong current trading and a confident outlook.

Superdry’s recovery since reopening its brick and mortar stores in April is on track, albeit the EU market remains in a tougher position than the UK.

Results for the year to 24 April 2021 were severely impacted by the pandemic, although Superdry narrowed its adjusted pre-tax loss by almost 70% to £12.6 million on group sales down 21.1% to £556.1 million.

Encouragingly, the sales recovery seen in the fourth quarter continued into the 18 weeks to the end of August as Covid restrictions eased and store sales rebounded.

RETURN TO GROWTH

‘Like most brands with a physical presence, our performance over the past year has been impacted by the significant disruption of Covid-19,’ said co-founder and CEO Dunkerton, ‘but I am really proud of how the business has stepped up and returned to revenue growth in Q4.

‘Store and wholesale revenues are recovering well despite continued subdued footfall, and e-commerce margin is benefitting from our return to a full price stance.’

Dunkerton is in ‘no doubt that we’re turning the corner and there’s a lot to be excited about. Trading has been encouraging since the reopening of our stores, and we’ll take a big step forward as a brand with the opening of our global flagship store in Oxford Street later in the Autumn’.

While ‘significant’ market uncertainty remains, Superdry is confident of a recovery in total revenue in the new financial year and also excited investors with the following upbeat comment.

‘Recognising the structural growth opportunity in e-commerce, as well as the geographic and customer segmental targeting opportunities in our wholesale business, we expect revenue to exceed peak historic levels in the medium term. Disciplined full price trading, continuing rent renegotiations, and the operating leverage from cost savings will also return the business to historic operating profit margins.’

THE LIBERUM VIEW

Liberum Capital insisted the key take-away from the results is ‘one of confidence.

‘In all areas of the business recovery is on track and we are particularly encouraged by wholesale which should continue to recover as the global partners reopen.’

Though the company is encountering higher supply chain logistic costs in common with the industry, the broker insists Superdry ‘has the bandwidth to offset all this and maintain forecasts’.

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Issue Date: 16 Sep 2021