Supergroup like-for-likes increased 8.5% in its first quarter due to its policy not to run Sales. Retail Week takes a look at what the analysts say.

Q1 group sales were up 25.7% to £75m – a solid trading performance, in line with management’s expectations. Retail like-for-like performance of 8.5% is strong, although is against relatively weak comps. Wholesale performance was equally encouraging, with the autumn-winter 2013 order book up +26%, demonstrating the continued strength of the brand. Given FY14 is a year of investment and we are still early in the year, we are making no changes to our forecasts at this stage, however we view the Q1 performance as an encouraging start – Andrew Fitchie, Investec

SuperGroup has enjoyed a strong start to the year, marked by robust retail sales and a reassuring result for its wholesale order book, up 26% on this time last year. Although the owner of urban youth fashion brand Superdry has come under fire from shareholders in recent weeks, over excessive payouts for senior staff, the company is not short of cash. The business enjoyed revenues of £75m for the quarter, helped by the popularity of its recently launched womenswear line and the record weather over the last 13 weeks – Anousha Couttigane, Conlumino

With Q1 representing just c17% of our full-year sales forecasts, we are reticent to upgrade at this early stage. However, continued acceleration in the wholesale order book and the likely outperformance of gross margins (H1 guidance is flat, but we expect SuperGroup to be tracking slightly ahead of this) bodes well, suggesting scope for upgrades at Q2 or the interim stage. We expect the completion of the German franchise acquisition to be announced shortly, while it is the mediumterm potential to take control of the US market that may have more material consequences for overseas earnings momentum – John Stevenson, Peel Hunt

The Q1 update to end of July came in above the top end of market expectations helped by a knock out performance in wholesaling. The stock has risen strongly over the past few months. Following this update, we are raising our FY14 pre-tax profit forecast from £59.0m to £60.5m taking EPS up from 54.1p to 55.4p  and making similar revisions to our FY15 forecasts. The news on the autumn/winter order book looks encouraging, particularly in womenswear. As already noted, recent international deals, including the acquisition of the Spanish distributor, mark a significant step up in international strategy and longer term, we see potential for the company to develop a significant number of stores on the Continent. Indeed, for example we believe there is scope for the company to develop a similar number of owned stores in Germany as in the UK (currently have c. 90 stores) - Freddie George, Cantor Fitzgerald

This is now the seventh consecutive positive trading update from the new management team. Not only is the group meeting expectations on store development but the enhanced ranges and increased investment behind design is clearly driving an acceleration in quarterly sequential growth. FY2013/14 is a year of investment and we see the benefits from the new distribution centre, IT enhancements and improved supply chain as fundamental to the delivery of long term sustainable growth- Wayne Brown, Canaccord  Genuity

The strengthened management team has taken control of the business and has improved important practices across key areas. Credibility has improved and investor appetite has returned with the focus turning back to the growth potential of this young brand. FY’14 is starting to see investment being made again for future growth and trading momentum appears to be building – Mark Photiades, Singer

Today’s Q1 update is very encouraging, with retail like-for-like sales up 8.5% despite the hot weather in July (reflecting the success of the new womenswear range) and wholesale sales very strong, notwithstanding phasing benefits (with autumn/winter orders up 26%). Chief executive Julian Dunkerton says “We have started the year in fine form”- Nick Bubb, independent analyst