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Gloucestershire Business News

Dunkerton looks to future despite Superdry warning

Superdry has issued a strong warning about the company's future after reporting further falls in sales as lockdown restrictions closed stores.

The Cheltenham-based fashion retailer saw revenues fall 52 per cent in the 11 weeks to January 9 while interim results for the six months to October 24 saw a pre-tax loss of £18.9million.

The company reported revenue of £282.7million across the same period - down 23.4 per cent on the previous year.

Since then, coronavirus restrictions have hit physical sales with 72 per cent of shops shut during the latest lockdown.

A statement issued with the results said: "The ability of the group to meet the new covenants from debt providers represent material uncertainty and may cast significant doubt on the group's ability to continue as a going concern and, therefore, that it may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business."

Despite the warning, the company's directors said liquidity requirements were "adequate" and that it would be able operate within its borrowing facilities for the next year.

Online sales were up 13.2 per cent over the last 11 weeks while the net cash rose by more than 460 per cent to £34.1million.

Founder Julian Dunkerton, whose return as chief executive was made permanent last month, said: "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.

"While revenue and underlying profit have been impacted by the external conditions, the brand has continued to focus on the reset.

"With more than 70 per cent of stores closed and having to shut a significant number over peak, it will take time to see the benefits of all our hard work flow through to the results."

He said the company was making progress with its "influencer-led, digital marketing strategy" which includes a partnership with Brazilian footballer Neymar.

He also welcomed the ongoing process of increasing sustainability across the business and the appointment of Silvana Bonello as chief operating officer.

"We are well on the way to having the right leadership team in place to see us through the current difficult environment, oversee the delivery of our strategy and return the brand to long-term, sustainable growth once the pandemic recedes," he said.

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