Superdry getting back on track, Q4 positive as full-price strategy pays off
Superdry founder and CEO Julian Dunkerton talked of making progress when he delivered a full-year trading update for the company on Thursday. And while it clearly has some way to go before it's back to full health, it appears to be on the right track.
FY22, covers both a big chunk of 2021 and early 2022 so clearly includes periods when the pandemic was making itself felt, as well as post-pandemic months. The company provided comparisons both for the previous Covid-hit year (FY21) and the pre-pandemic year (FY20).
Taking direct 52 week against 52 week comparisons for the year to late April (the actual figures were slightly skewed because the latest year was a 53-week one), the company reported revenue down for the year as a whole, but up in the final quarter.
And even for the full year, store revenue recovered, rising 59.8% year-on-year, as it lapped enforced closures and restrictions were lifted in its key markets. That’s despite footfall remaining “significantly below pre-Covid levels”.
It's no surprise that e-commerce revenue decreased 24% year-on-year, “reflecting an element of channel shift back to physical trading and our reduced promotional activity, in line with our strategic focus on full price sales”.
But that full-price sales mix increased 26 ppts year-on-year, delivering an anticipated 590bps improvement in Retail gross margin.
And it saw “encouraging” wholesale revenue growth of 4.2% year-on-year, despite the prolonged disruption in European markets.
Looking at the figures in detail, group revenue in FY22 was £600.7 million, which was up 8% compared to FY21 and down 14.7% compared to pre-pandemic FY20.
Sales through its stores rose 59.8% on the year to £224.5 million, but fell 21.8% compared to FY20. E-commerce at £153.4 million for the year was down 24% – as mentioned – compared to the previous year, but was up 1.2% compared to FY20.
Between its stores and its online operations, that meant overall retail revenue was £378 million, which was up 10.4% on the year and down 13.9% against two years earlier.
Meanwhile, wholesale rose to £222.8 million year-on-year but was down 16.1% against the pre-Covid period.
And on the plus side, Q4 was clearly a better period for the company. Overall group revenue reached £159.7 million, which was up 17% against FY21 and up 6.7% against FY20.
Store revenue rose 203% on the year to £47.2 million and was up 22.9% against two years ago. E-commerce, as expected, was down 21.5% at £38.2 million on the year. It was also down by 6.6% against two years ago, although given that the period included at least a month of direct comparison with a lockdown period, that was no shock.
Overall retail revenue was up 33% on the year at £85.4 million and up 7.7% against two years ago, while wholesale rose 2.7% on the year to £74.2 million and rose 5.6% over two years.
Julian Dunkerton said: “We continue to execute our strategy of returning the Superdry brand to a premium position and I am excited by the progress we are making. Despite the ongoing tough trading conditions and turmoil in the market, our focus on full price trading will deliver a strong gross margin improvement for FY22.
“We are conscious of the cost-of-living pressures on consumers, meaning that now, more than ever, we must continue to deliver product that stands for what is important to them: quality, style and sustainability at great value.
“As we head into FY23 we remain cautious on the macroeconomic outlook and the impact of inflation but are confident that our strategy is positioning the brand for future success.”
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