Superdry warns on profits (again) as frazzled fashion firm reels from board clear out and new boss vows to get it back on track
- Struggling Superdry said sales crashed 4.5 per cent in the last three months
- It comes after a mass exodus of the board and the election of co-founder as CEO
- Julian Dunkerton has pledged to turn the company’s fortunes around
There’s been no shortage of drama at struggling fashion chain Superdry in the last few months and today is no exception as the firm issued its third profit warning in a year.
The company said its annual profits would come in below City expectations after sales crashed 4.5 per cent in the last three months.
Back at the helm: Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton is back in charge at the fashion firm
The firm’s co-founder and biggest shareholder Julian Dunkerton was narrowly voted back onto the board by investors and, now as interim chief executive, has vowed to turn its fortunes around.
The company has had a torrid year, downgrading full-year forecasts on two other occasions amid stagnating stores sales and heavy discounting.
In the last three months, it suffered declines in its wholesale division – down more than 9 per cent, and also online – down by nearly 4 per cent.
Dunkerton, who has been at the helm for just five weeks, said today that he and his team were already moving ahead with remedies.
A raft of changes include making more items available online, putting more stock into stores and cutting back on sales and promotions.
The company is also pursuing £50million in cost savings and mulling some store closures.
On the slide: Superdry’s share price has eroded heavily over the last year amid falling sales
‘My first priority has been to stabilise the situation, and all of us in the business are putting all our energy into getting the product ranges right and improving the ecommerce proposition, which are two important steps towards addressing Superdry’s recent weak performance,’ Dunkerton said.
‘The impact of the changes we are making will take time to come through in the numbers but I’m confident we are heading in the right direction.’
Dunkerton’s power grab in April triggered a mass exodus of Superdry directors, including boss Euan Sutherland.
Peter Williams was also elected to the board alongside Dunkerton and has taken up the role of chairman.
‘Today’s statement shows the scale of the challenge ahead of us,’ Williams said.
‘The company’s financial performance won’t be turned around overnight, but we know what we need to do, and we are wasting no time in addressing the challenges which the business faces.’
Across the whole year, sales were flat.
Commenting on the latest figures, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: ‘Julian Dunkerton has only been back in the hot seat for five weeks so no-one can really blame him for the sub-standard performance which includes several months where he wasn’t in the business.
‘However, the latest profit warning is a stark reminder about the scale of the problems facing the business and the mountain Dunkerton has to climb to get it back on track.’
The ‘unsurprising’ news did not trigger much of a change in the Superdry share price, which remains at around the £4.83 mark – a far cry from its 52-week high of £15.61.