SuperGroup said it was making “progress on all fronts” as underlying pre-tax profit advanced 21.8% to £17.9m in its first half to October 27.

However, including exceptional items such as the buy-out of its Spanish distribution agreement and set up of its new distribution centre pre-tax profit declined 28.8% to £9.9m at the fashion retailer.

Retail revenue soared 19.3% over the half and total sales surged 21.4% to £192.1m as like-for-likes grew 8.1%. Gross margin increased 50 basis points over the period.

Supergroup, which operates trendy brand Superdry, opened eight new stores over the half while 35 new international franchise and licensed stores opened. It also opened its first eight Spanish concessions in department store El Cortes Inglés.

Total online sales were up by 18.7%. Full price internet sales jumped 29.3% but its reduced clearance activity on eBay diluted growth.

SuperGroup chief executive Julian Dunkerton said: “In a year that the group is focusing on significant infrastructure investment our trading momentum has continued with strong increases in revenue and underlying profit giving us confidence for the future.

“The product developments across the two most recent seasons, in particular in womenswear, have helped to deliver like-for-like growth. I am also pleased to report that the spring/summer 2014 order book is showing growth of circa 26%, demonstrating the continuing momentum in the wholesale business.

“Ecommerce continues to thrive and international sales represented a greater proportion of internet sales than the UK, indicating strong global demand for the brand. Superdry products are now sold globally through stores in 41 countries and the 16 international websites which, together with the group’s investment plans, will continue to drive further international awareness of the brand.”