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SuperGroup chief brushes off Brexit fears with bullish plans

Superdry at Manchester Arndale with dedicated Idris Elba area in store

SuperGroup chief executive Euan Sutherland said the firm is pressing ahead with its plans in the UK and overseas, including a new store format, as he shrugs off fears about Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“It is too early to say what impact Brexit will have on consumer reaction but we haven’t seen any discernible impact as yet so we are continuing with our short- and medium-term plans,” he told Drapers this morning, as the Superdry brand owner revealed revenues climbed 21.3% to £590.1m for the year to April 30. Underlying profit before tax rose 16.3% to £73.5m.

“With our long-term plans, we have already got a very natural hedge within the business: 45% of our revenue is in euros and 55% of the business is now outside of the UK. In terms of currency we are fully hedged for the next 18 months.”

Sutherland said new distribution centres in Belgium and the US, combined with the UK facility, will allow the company to react to demand.

He welcomed the certainty of the new prime minister Theresa May, adding: “She looks like a very good leader and she’s very sensible.”

Superdry Sport

Superdry Sport

Superdry Sport spring 16

“The markets need some calm and certainty and I think she will be able to provide that,” he said.

He said the first two of an initial five “next generation” test stores in the US are trading ahead of plan, and the remaining three are set to open before autumn.

In the UK, SuperGroup has also unveiled a new store concept at Westfield London and Manchester Arndale shopping centre, which will be rolled out further if it proves successful.

The Manchester store opened last week and showcases the full vision, said Sutherland, pointing to a wider product range and new merchandising techniques.

The store features a 17 metre-wide entrance with LED displays in the front and back of the shop to showcase key looks and the latest brand content. Its design reflects the Regent Street flagship with concrete and distressed timber, but also has a new sound system and a “chillout zone” with charging points.

“We are not only looking at our global geographies we are also looking at our core market too,” he said, adding that there are good early indications of sales at the new stores are good.

“This morning’s results set us up for well for the coming year,” he said.

“We have had sector-leading ecommerce growth above 50%, strong progress in our European store expansion, and in terms of categories, womenswear is our fastest growing, but we have also had a good reaction to our sports range and premium Idris collection, all of which are very new so exciting for us.”

Idris Elba Superdry

Idris Elba Superdry

Idris Elba Superdry

The firm will pay its first special dividend of 20p per share to all shareholders, in addition to the full-year ordinary dividend of 23.2p per share.

“The special dividend, which will be paid in September, underlines our confidence in the opportunities we have and also the cash generation that the business creates.”



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