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Littlewood's faith rewarded as wet weather revives Supergroup
by James Poulter on Sep 11, 2012 at 11:15
Adverse weather helped fashion company Supergroup boost sales this summer, with strong sales of warm clothing such as jackets, gilets, and sweatshirts being accredited for the rise.
Total UK sales rose by 19.7% to £40.2 million over the quarter to 29 July, compared with the same period last year. Like-for-like sales increased 1.7% in the same period.
The top floor of the Regent Street flagship store opened along with two new stores in Sunderland and Windsor, adding 22,000 square feet of space and taking the chain’s UK portfolio to 81.
Wholesale sales for the quarter fell 5.6% to £19.6 million, the retailer suggested changed delivery dates were behind the fall and expects orders for autumn/winter 2012 to increase by 7%.
Chief executive, Julian Dunkerton said: ‘The retail division has produced a sound performance during the quarter against challenging comparatives and reflects the impact of improved retail practices. Whilst wholesale revenues appear more challenging in the quarter, we are encouraged by the level of the order book for the full autumn/winter season.‘
UK wholesale revenues are expected to further decline as the firm adds further domestic retail outlets, while international sales are predicted to continue displaying growth. Franchised stores increased by 13 during the quarter, including six in Spain.
Dunkerton added: ‘Trading conditions remain volatile and unpredictable, but Supergroup has produced a pleasing performance and while we recognise that it is early in the year we are on-course to meet our financial objectives.’
Supergroup shares were up 5.46% on the news to 560p at 10am this morning. However, a string of profit warning prior to today's update leave the shares still well below their 12-month high of £11.49.
According to a shareholder register seen by Wealth Manager dated 30 August, contrarian William Littlewood holds 1.16% of the company in his Citywire Selection £825 million Artemis Strategic Assets fund.
Today's update comes as a boost to Littlewood, who has stood by the firm as its troubles mounted over the last 12 months.
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