SuperGroup reports fashionable rise in sales

UK fashion retailer SuperGroup on Thursday unveiled a rise in sales for the holiday season as shoppers stocked up on jackets, knitwear and gifting accessories.

UK fashion retailer SuperGroup on Thursday unveiled a rise in sales for the holiday season as shoppers stocked up on jackets, knitwear and gifting accessories.

The FTSE 250 company behind the Superdry brand said total group sales for the 13 weeks to January 27th grew 12.3% to £115.1m. The 39 weeks leading up to the same day jumped 14.5% to £273.3m.

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Group gross margin will be about 50 to 75 basis points higher than last year, the group added.

Revenues were driven by a strong Christmas trading period with like-for-like sales for the quarter up 10.6%.

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Total retail sales in the 13-week period were £89.8m, up 14.4% on the comparable period in the previous year. Online sales and the group's standalone stores both performed well.

During the quarter the branded clothing company opened stores in Leeds, Inverness, Paris, Antwerp and Oberhausen.

The portfolio of franchised stores increased by 15 during the quarter to 139, including 11 stores opened in Europe and four elsewhere.

Wholesale sales increased 5.4% to £25.3m year-on-year and orders for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection grew 20% on the earlier year for the season as a whole on a constant currency basis.

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Julian Dunkerton, Chief Executive Officer, said the retail division produced a "very satisfactory" performance during the quarter, particularly over Christmas.

"We are pleased by the response of the group's franchise partners to the Spring/Summer range," he said.

"The level of the order book for the forthcoming season and the retail performance during the quarter are positive indications of the demand for Superdry product.

"Although trading conditions remain volatile and unpredictable, the year to date results, and the early indications of the response to the new season range, have provided us with ever increasing confidence for the future."

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