Superdry reported a statutory loss before tax of GBP36.7m (US$50.2m) for the period, compared to GBP166.9m a year prior. The retailer said the figure for FY21 includes a store impairment charge and onerous property-related contracts provision expense of GBP15.8m.

Group revenue, meanwhile, declined by 21.1% to GBP556.1m from GBP704.4m last time as the retailer was impacted by 39% lost trading days compared with 10% a year earlier.

Gross margin decreased by 90 basis points to 52.7%, with Superdry’s return to a full-price trading stance online in the fourth quarter more than offset by the focus on cash preservation driving increased online promotional activity at the start of the pandemic.

In terms of current trading, for the 18-week period ending 28 August, group revenue increased 1.9% year-on-year as Covid-related restrictions eased, but high street footfall remained subdued, which continue to impact physical trading channels.

As anticipated, Superdry said store revenue rebounded strongly against FY21, with the UK (76%) and the US (169%), lapping temporary store closures in the prior year. This was partially offset by the EU which suffered from further closures at the start of the current period (-10%).

The retailer adds e-commerce sales were more modest against the “extraordinary growth” it experienced in the prior year. The return to full-price trading resulted in a less pronounced uplift during the sale period but did drive online gross margin up 10.5 percentage points year-on-year.

Looking ahead, whilst significant market uncertainty remains, Superdry expects a recovery in total revenue in FY22.

“Like most brands with a physical presence, our performance over the past year has been impacted by the significant disruption of Covid-19, but I am really proud of how the business has stepped up and returned to revenue growth in Q4. Store and wholesale revenues are recovering well despite continued subdued footfall, and e-commerce margin is benefitting from our return to a full price stance,” says CEO Julian Dunkerton.

“I’m in no doubt that we’re turning the corner and there’s a lot to be excited about. Whilst a lot remains uncertain, I’m looking ahead to 2022 and beyond with real confidence as we deliver our reset.”