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Gloucestershire Business News

Superdry is "making good progress" despite 11 per cent drop in revenues

Superdry revenues fell by more than 10 per cent in the 26 weeks to October with the Cheltenham-based clothing giant saying the news reflects an "expected year of reset" for the firm.

Founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said that despite the 11.3 per cent dip the company was "making good progress" with its turnaround plan.

Mr Dunkerton returned to the company board in April after a bitter boardroom battle that saw the majority of the existing directors resign.

The man who founded the brand on a market stall and in a Cheltenham shop was angry at the direction taken by the then board and returned to turn the company around.

And despite seeing revenues fall from £414.6 million for the first half of the 2018/19 year to £367.8 million for the 26 weeks to October, he insists the company is heading in the right direction.

"We are making good progress with the start to our turnaround plan for Superdry, returning the business to its design led roots," Mr Dunkerton said in a statement announcing the half-year results.

"We have always said it will take time, but we have a strong team which is working incredibly hard to deliver this plan.

When Mr Dunkerton returned to the top table in April, it was initially as interim chief executive, a position that was formally extended in October through to the end of the 2021 financial year.

A search for a new permanent CEO is ongoing at the Runnings Road-based firm, but it's clear that Mr Dunkerton has his hand firmly back on the tiller until a new boss can be found.

He is leading a change back to the design-led roots that saw Superdry become a billion pound business and one of the most successful British fashion brands with outlets all over the world.

And although those changes will take time to bed themselves in, Mr Dunkerton is confident that the firm he founded is, once again, on the right track.

"I'm genuinely excited by new injection product which has started to land in stores for this peak and even more excited about the new ranges signed off for next year," he said.

"We are moving the business away from a reliance on constant promotions, and while this focus on full price sales has affected revenue in the first half, this is being partially offset by a better gross margin performance.

"There is good momentum in the business, and I remain confident of returning Superdry to sustainable long-term growth."

The statement added that the business reset process would take "two to three years" to take "full control of the product and costs."

It added: "We are confident in delivering further benefits from reset initiatives across Superdry in the second half.

"However, we remain cautious about the challenging market conditions over the peak trading period."

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