Sutherland plans SuperGroup shake-up

SuperDry fashion band appeared to be out of vogue with shoppers
SuperDry fashion band appeared to be out of vogue with shoppers
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Former Co-op boss Euan Sutherland launched a shake-up of fashion business SuperGroup yesterday as half-year profits plunged by nearly a third.

Underlying operating profits were down 32 per cent to £12.1 million in the six months to 25 October as its SuperDry fashion band appeared to be out of vogue with shoppers, who generally stayed away from clothing stores during an unseasonably warm autumn.

The group also warned that the additional stock clearance now needed would impact its margins at the full year stage.

Sutherland, who joined the firm two months ago, said he had already identified parts of the business that he could improve.

He said: “I am reviewing every aspect of the business, including the execution of our strategy, cost manage-ment and capital allocation and will report our conclusions in the spring.”

It is the latest corporate turnaround to be initiated by Sutherland, who walked out of the Co-operative Group earlier this year claiming it was “ungovernable” after meeting resistance to his reform plans. One of his first tasks at SuperGroup was to warn that full-year profits would be lower than expected, at £60m to £65m, and yesterday the company stuck to that revised guidance. The bulk of profits are usually delivered in the second half.

Half-year results showed like-for-like retail sales down 4.1 per cent, with a brief upswing at the start of the second quarter wiped out by the impact of mild weather from mid-September onwards.

Wholesale revenue growth of 2 per cent was held back by a 10 per cent decline in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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