Jul 14, 2016
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SuperGroup says diversification means well placed to weather Brexit fallout

Jul 14, 2016

SuperGroup, the British company behind the Superdry fashion brand, is well placed to weather sterling's depreciation in the wake of the Brexit vote thanks to its overseas expansion strategy, its boss said on Thursday.

The firm, whose trademark jackets, hooded tops and jogging bottoms are popular with teenagers and twenty-somethings, has over 660 stores and concessions across more than 50 countries as well as an ecommerce business.


"The strategy remains unchanged largely because it was one of diversification by channel, by geography and by category," Chief Executive Euan Sutherland told Reuters after the firm reported a 16.3 percent jump in full-year profit and paid a first special dividend, sending its shares up to 18 percent higher.

The pound has tumbled to 31-year lows against the U.S. dollar since Britain voted on June 23 to leave the European Union.

Sutherland said SuperGroup is hedged for the next 18 months but will eventually face higher sourcing costs if the weakness of sterling persists as about half of the goods it imports are paid for in dollars.

However, the firm will benefit from a positive sales translation effect because 55 percent of its revenue is generated outside the UK.

"I think relative to other players we’re better placed," the CEO said, noting that SuperGroup's overseas exposure is increasing.

In the 2015-16 year some 88 percent of SuperGroup's new space was in western Europe.

"As we go into this financial year it’s slightly lower in Europe but the remaining percentage is in the U.S., so we’re not really opening any more space in the UK," said Sutherland.

SuperGroup made a pretax profit of 73.5 million pounds in the year to April 30. That was at the top end of previous guidance. Full year revenue increased 21.3 percent to 590.1 million pounds, after fourth quarter revenue jumped 30 percent.

The firm is paying an ordinary dividend of 23.2 pence and a special dividend of 20 pence reflecting "high confidence in our brand and our strategy."

Shares in SuperGroup, which had fallen 18 percent so far this year prior to Thursday's update, were up 202 pence at 1,541 pence at 12.51 GMT, valuing the business at 1.25 billion pounds.


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