Superdry insisted it was “turning a corner” on Thursday, sending its shares higher, after annual losses narrowed despite a fall in revenues.
Group revenues for the year to 24 April came in at £556.1m, down 21% year-on-year, while the gross margin was 52.7%, compared to 53.6% a year previously.
The adjusted loss before tax was £12.6m, against £41.8m in 2020, with the statutory pre-tax loss narrowing 78% to £36.7m. The group attributed the reduction to cost saving measures, government support and reduced depreciation.
As with most retailers, Superdry was hit hard after the pandemic shuttered its stores.
But co-founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the group had returned to revenue growth in the fourth quarter. That looked to have continued into the current quarter, with group revenues ahead 1.9% year-on-year in the 18 weeks to 28 August, though they were down 29.6% on the same period in 2020.
Dunkerton said: “Store and wholesale revenues are recovering well despite continued subdued footfall, and e-commerce margin is benefitting from our return to a full price stance.
“We have used this effectively to accelerate our brand reset and put the business in the best possible position for the future.
“I’m in no doubt that we’re turning a corner and there’s a lot to be excited about. Trading has been encouraging since the reopening of our stores, and we’ll take a big step forward as a brand with the opening of global flagship store in Oxford Street later in the autumn.”
As at 1130 BST, shares in Superdry were trading nearly 19% higher at 338.0p.
Dunkerton, who originally left the business in 2018, was appointed chief executive on a permanent basis in December 2020 following a bruising boardroom battle over the direction of the brand.