• H1 pre-tax profit up 13.1% to GBP14.7m
  • Group revenue jumped 16.2% to GBP158.2m
  • Gross margin edged up 90bps to 56.3% 

Fashion retailer SuperGroup Plc, owner of the Superdry brand, has posted a 13.1% jump in first-half pre-tax profit, helped by strong sales both in the UK and overseas, as well as falling cotton prices.

The Group also said it has performed broadly in line with internal expectations in the first six weeks of the second half, with positive like-for-like retail sales.

The results reported today (12 December) will help allay concerns after SuperGroup posted a number of profit warnings last year, triggered by an accounting error and problems with a new warehouse management system.

In the six months to 28 October it posted an underlying pre-tax profit of GBP14.7m (US$23.7m), up from GBP13m in the same period last year.

Group revenue jumped 16.2% to GBP158.2m from GBP136.1m a year earlier, helped by "solid" performances at the retail and wholesale divisions. Retail revenue surged 26.4%, while like-for-like sales growth at UK stores open for over a year were up 3.9%.

Gross profit was up by 18.0% to GBP89.0m, with gross margin edging up 90bps to 56.3%, thanks to the benefit of falling cotton prices and improved supplier terms.

"Although the trading environment has remained challenging and volatile, the Group's sales performance in the first half of the year has been encouraging," said chief executive Julian Dunkerton.

"There have been a number of positive factors that have supported this performance but it is clear that the on-going investment in design and the growing presence of the brand have enhanced sales both in the UK and overseas."

The Group sells its products through 375 Superdry stores and concessions around the world. During the first half, it opened 37 franchise and licensed stores, including the first franchise store in India. International websites were also launched in Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

Dunkerton added: "The economic outlook remains uncertain but I am confident in our strategy and our ability to maximise the opportunities we have in the UK and internationally and deliver our full year profit targets."