SuperGroup, the parent company of fashion brand Superdry, today announces a strategy update, revealing an intention to start paying a dividend in 2016, with payouts in the range of three to three-and-a-half times earnings.
Euan Sutherland, former Co-operative group CEO which he notoriously left after labelling the company “ungovernable,” seeks to help SuperGroup “deliver sustainable, long-term growth” following the somewhat scandalous departure of Finance Director Shaun Willis.
In addition, the Group has acquired the exclusive rights to distribute Superdry products in North America, by terminating the 30 year licence granted to SDUSA LLC, who became the Group’s US licence partner in 2008. The Group has also acquired certain assets from that company. This follows the acquisitions of the company’s Scandinavian, Spanish and German partners over the last 18 months.
In a statement this morning the firm said:
“Strategically, taking control of our product and presence in North America is an important and natural step in realising our ambition to create a global business. It gives us the opportunity to enhance our brand presence there and significantly build the long term value of our business.”
The move will give the retailer direct control of the distribution of Superdry products in the key strategic markets across North America. The consideration, funded entirely from the Group’s existing cash resources, includes stock, shop fixtures and fittings valued at.£11.0m and, as part of the transaction, 15 leases will be assigned to SuperGroup. The company said it expects the North American operations to be profitable from FY17.
The retailer’s update today just keeps on giving, also bringing the news that renowned British actor Idris Elba will collaborate with Superdry. The Wire star will design and produce a premium line of clothing to be sold globally in stores and online, as well as through wholesale partnerships from Autumn/Winter 2015.
This new collaboration is part of SuperGroup’s strategy to create a “global lifestyle brand, building on the iconic heritage of Superdry to broaden and strengthen customer appeal,” the company said in a statement. Elba, who will be designing the range with SuperGroup founder James Holder, will be the face of the line. Stylish.
“He’s very popular with women,” commented Sutherland. “He’s pretty popular with guys as well. He has played some very cool roles on TV and in film. He’s a huge name in the states [and] he really epitomises what we are” he added.
SuperGroup also announced the appointment of Penny Hughes as an independent non-executive Director of the Group with effect from 1 April. Hughes is currently a non-executive Morrisons and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Group also said it expected profits this year to be in line with forecasts of between £60m and £65m.