Superdry sounds going concern warning as lockdowns hit sales

Shares in the brand slid on Tuesday morning after it also posted significantly wider losses.

Superdry financials
Superdry financials

Fashion retailer Superdry has warned there are doubts over its ability to continue as a going concern after further lockdown measures battered its revenues.

Shares in the brand slid on Tuesday morning after it also posted significantly wider losses.

Superdry slid to a £18.9 million pre-tax loss for the half-year to October 24, as the pandemic put its turnaround strategy on hold.

It told investors that risks associated with current uncertainty and the recovery in consumer demand “represent material uncertainty and may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

Superdry Board
Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton (Superdry/PA)

The group said that, as of January 9, 173 of its stores were closed due to lockdown measures, representing 72% of its store portfolio.

It said this is the highest level of closures since April and it has a “material shortfall” in total sales against previous forecasts despite a 13.2% increase in Ecommerce sales in the past 11 weeks to January 9.

Total sales fell by 23.4% to £282.7 million in the six months to October, it revealed in the trading update.

A 49.8% increase in online sales was only partly offset the impact of lower store revenues, which slid by 44.8% over the period.

The group said it expects “prolonged store closures and subdued footfall” in early 2021 to continue to weigh on revenues, although shortfalls will be partially offset by rent waivers and furlough payments.

It stressed that the company’s liquidity it still “strong”, with £54.8 million in cash reserves.

Founder and chief executive officer Julian Dunkerton said the brand has continued to focus on its “reset” plan but it will take time to see the benefits in trading results.

“Covid-19 has brought substantial challenges to Superdry as with many other brands, and this has continued through the first half and into the second with renewed lockdowns in our key markets,” he added.

“Our team has responded incredibly well and above all we’ve been focused on looking after our colleagues and customers and ensuring everyone is keeping safe.”

Shares in Superdry were 12.3% lower at 210.47p after early trading.

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