Dr. Martens, the popular footwear specialist, has reported positive sales growth for its latest full year, with revenue increasing by 10% and Q4 revenue up by 6%. This is particularly encouraging news considering the challenging conditions faced by the retail industry until March. The company saw strong growth in direct-to-consumer (DTC) trading, with retail growth leading the way at 36% (or 28% in constant currency). DTC in the EMEA region and APAC also performed well, albeit with soft growth in America. However, this progress was offset by a decline in wholesale sales compared to the previous year.

Dr. Martens attributes the decline in wholesale sales to issues at its US distribution hub in Los Angeles. Swift action was taken to rectify the problems, and shipments are now back to normal levels. Despite the resolution of these issues, the cost of addressing them and the softer Q4 wholesale revenue are expected to result in a decrease in EBITDA for the year. The projection is around £245 million, down from £263 million the previous year.

The challenges faced at the Los Angeles distribution center were the primary cause of the decline in wholesale performance in Q4. Additionally, a reduction in shipments to the company’s China distributor had an impact, but this was partially offset by growth in the EMEA region.

While Q4 revenue increased by 6%, it remained flat when translated into constant currency. Within the DTC channel, trading grew by 20%, while wholesale sales declined by 4% in constant currency. Retail experienced impressive growth of 36%, while e-commerce grew by 8%. For the full year, overall revenue growth was 10%, with DTC up by 16% and wholesale up by 4%. Within DTC, retail experienced growth of 30%, and e-commerce grew by 6%.

CEO Kenny Wilson expressed confidence in the strength of the Dr. Martens brand and the growth potential of the business in the medium to long term. He emphasized the company’s commitment to making decisions that benefit its stakeholders. Wilson looks forward to providing more details at the full-year results announcement.

Despite the challenges faced, Dr. Martens maintains its guidance for mid-to-high single-digit revenue growth on a constant currency basis for FY24. In other news, the company announced that CFO Jon Mortimore will be retiring. Mortimore has been instrumental in overseeing the company’s growth and transition to a publicly listed PLC. An external search has been initiated to find a suitable replacement, and Mortimore will stay in his position until a smooth transition is ensured.

To learn more about Dr. Martens and its latest developments, visit the company’s official website [link]. For insights into the retail industry and market trends, check out this informative article [link].