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Gloucestershire Business News

Julian Dunkerton offer to help Superdry rebuffed

It looks like Julian Dunkerton is in no doubt what Superdry thinks following his pitch to shareholders that he is ready to get back on board the fashion business he founded.

According to the Sunday Times newspaper the Cheltenham entrepreneur, and multi-millionaire as a result of his creation of Superdry, made his comments following a profit warning from the fashion brand.

He is said to have declared that the firm is on "a completely wrong path" after "probably the most disastrous eight months you could imagine".

"I've been in this industry for 30 years and I left a brilliant business and a brilliant brand, and it's just taken a wrong direction," Mr Dunkerton told the Sunday Times.

Punchline reported only last week how Superdry saw more than 20 per cent wiped off the value of its shares after revealing its winter clothing sales had been hit by the warmer than expected end to the summer and early autumn.

It proved serious enough for the Cheltenham-headquartered company to warn its profits were likely to be as much as £10 million down.

And on top of that the firm is also expecting to have to deal with an extra £8 million of additional "exchange costs".

"The summer and autumn to date has seen unseasonably hot weather conditions in the UK, Continental Europe and on the East Coast of the USA," said the firm in a statement this morning.

"Critically, these conditions have continued through into September and the first half of October and have significantly affected demand for autumn/winter product, particularly sweats and jackets, which account for around 45 per cent of Superdry's annual sales.

Mr Dunkerton, who founded the business that would become Superdry in 2003, left the board of the business in March.

Since then he appears to have been busier than ever - re-launching the family organic cider business in Gloucestershire, continuing to expand his Lucky Onion hotel and pub chain, getting married and donating £1m to the campaign for a second EU referendum.

He remains the biggest investor in Superdry, with an 18.5 per cent stake, despite selling £89 million worth of shares earlier this year.

As far as the company is concerned, however, the answer of his 'offer' to help appears clear.

Peter Bamford is reported as saying while his board had "huge respect" for Mr Dunkerton his strategic thinking had "not evolved with the needs of our business".

"A source added that Dunkerton's bias towards jackets and sweaters had contributed to the stock overhang that formed part of last week's profit warning," said the Sunday Times.

Superdry's sales topped £872m last year.

Read more: Fashion brand Superdry issues profits warning 

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