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Superdry says trade is stronger than expected as online sales rise but stores hit by lockdowns

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Superdry this week said the first quarter of its financial year was ahead of its expectations, as online sales grew by 93%, taking the strain as stores remained closed during Covid-19 lockdowns. Group revenue for the 13 weeks from April 26 to July 25 was down by 24.1% as a result of lockdowns that started in March. 

The fashion brand, ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research, reopened its shops gradually once that was permitted and says that about 95% of its shops are now open again. However, store revenues fell by 58.1% in the first quarter, equivalent to a like-for-like fall of 32.3%. 

Wholesale partners have also been affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, and sales through that channel were down by 31% over the period. 

Superdry says online sales have normalised in recent weeks as shops have reopened. The retailer has put new £70m asset backed lending in place until January 2023. As of August 6, it had £57.8m net cash on the balance sheet, up from £39.8m on May 7, and £2.1m on August 6 2019. It also owed £3.1m. It has deferred property-related payments, including costs and taxes, but says that is broadly offset by delayed stock intake. 

Superdry chief executive Julian Dunkerton said: “The actions we have taken to date have greatly strengthened our cash position, which together with our new ABL Facility, give us the flexibility to execute our current plans and to secure our recovery. 

“Together, we are making our way through this unprecedented period, and I’m confident we can reset the brand and deliver on our transformation plans.”

The retailer is currently working through a strategy of cross-channel reset that is set to see the online range doubled and more stock brought into stores over the next two or more years. At the same time it has moved away from discounting. 

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