Fashion retailer SuperGroup spooked the market with signs of slowing growth at its retail division, though total sales continued to soar.
The retailer’s total sales jumped by 61% to £66m in the three months to May 1 but retail lagged behind wholesale. Retail sales increased 39% to £32m compared to the 92% growth seen in the previous quarter.
However, Arden analyst Nick Bubb said: “We don’t think [SuperGroup] should beat itself up too much, as we estimate that there would still have been good 10% to 15% like-for-like growth within that overall retail sales figure, and most retailers would die for that.”
But Jonathan Pritchard of Oriel Securities described the update as “disappointing”. The retailer attributed the slowdown in growth to fewer stores opening in the period. Just one store opened in the fourth quarter compared with six last time. SuperGroup said delayed delivery of warm-weather stock also affected sales.
Total sales for the year ending May 1 soared 71% to £238m, with wholesale and retail sales both rising 71% to £91m and £147m respectively. SuperGroup said pre-tax profits, to be announced in July, are expected to be within the range of market expectations.
Investec analyst Katharine Wynne said that SuperGroup’s pre-tax profit is likely to come in between £48.5m and £52m but there may be concerns that “Superdry has already crested the wave in the UK market”.