Superdry, the British fashion retailer, has released its first-half results, which highlight the continued challenges it faces. The six-month period leading up to 28 October was particularly tough, but the company did manage to make progress on reducing costs and inventory. However, most of the figures were negative, with the profit made in the first half attributed to one-off asset sales. The following 12 weeks saw a decline in group revenue, with Retail down 10.2%, Stores down 10.4%, E-commerce down 10.1%, and Wholesale down 38%.

The decline in revenue has been linked to milder weather conditions and heavy discounting during the festive season. Consequently, the company anticipates that its full-year results will reflect the challenging environment. In addition to these financial results, Superdry has also announced the departure of its CFO, Shaun Wills, at the end of March. Giles David has been appointed as the Interim CFO and will work with Wills over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition. David brings expertise in consumer-facing businesses and successful turnarounds, having previously worked at companies like McColls, Casual Dining Group, and Wiggle.

The first-half figures for Superdry reveal a significant 23.5% decline in group revenue compared to the previous year. This decline can be largely attributed to the challenging consumer retail market, unseasonal weather, and underperformance in the Wholesale segment. However, there was a slight improvement in the gross margin rate, increasing from 52.1% to 54%, which was driven by changes in the channel mix and price inflation. The company also recorded a statutory pre-tax profit of £3.3 million, primarily due to the sale of intellectual property in the APAC region.

Despite the difficulties faced, Superdry is committed to its turnaround program. The company has made significant strides in reducing costs and inventory and expects to achieve savings of over £40 million in the current financial year. Additionally, Superdry has taken additional action to strengthen its balance sheet by agreeing upon a joint venture and disposal in South Asia.

CEO Julian Dunkerton acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead for the company but remains optimistic about the steps being taken to ensure the business and brand return to profitability. He does, however, caution that market conditions are not expected to improve in the foreseeable future.

Useful links:
1. Superdry Official Website
2. Retail Gazette – Superdry News