// Superdry takes a hit as Covid-19 pandemic affects performance
// The retailer said ongoing uncertainty and disruption has affected sales and profits
Superdry has warned that the Covid pandemic will continue to affect its trading performance after profits dropped by a colossal 210 per cent.
The fashion retailer said the ongoing uncertainty and disruption of the crisis has led to a group sales decline of 19.2 per cent to £704.4 million in the year to April 25.
Statutory pre-tax profits fell 86.9 per cent to £166.9 million. On an underlying basis, the retailer made a loss of £41.8 million versus a profit of £38 million the previous year.
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In the 20 weeks to September 20, store sales were down 48.3 per cent compared to a decline of almost 86 per cent in the five weeks to May 30, while online sales rose 55.3 per cent and 112.1 per cent over those respective periods.
Superdry said “trading continues to be disrupted”, although it has improved since the year-end.
However, the company has had to discount in recent months in an effort to sell the excess stock from lockdown.
“As with all retailers, we have experienced significant disruption to our operations, and this has inevitably had an impact on our results, Superdry founder and chief executive Julain Dunkerton said.
”While our underlying profit has been impacted by trading performance during the year, including Covid-19 related store closures, I am particularly pleased by how strongly ecommerce has performed.
“This has been complemented by our increased digital consumer engagement, which helped drive a stronger womenswear mix than we have ever seen before.
“I’m pleased that we have delivered a good increase in the full-price mix, which is up 12 points year-on-year and has had a positive impact on gross margin.
”We are delivering on the reset of the business, despite the impacts of the pandemic.
“This has included reinvigorating the store design and layout, preparing for a relaunch of our website, and significantly increasing the number of options available both in store and online.
”Above all, I am very excited about our new AW20 collection which will be almost fully ranged by the end of October and is the first full collection I’ve overseen since my return to the business last year.
“It reflects our new brand philosophy and a return to Superdry’s design-led roots, which encompass a commitment to sustainability.”
Separately, Superdry welcomed a new £70 million financing deal with its banks last month to help it through the crisis as it revealed that stores sales continue to tumble.