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Dr Martens profit drops despite rising sales as it invests in new stores

Tom Bottomley
24 November 2022

Pre-tax profit at Dr Martens fell 5% to £57.9m in the six months to 30 September 2022, while EBITDA remained flat year-on-year at £88.8m, despite underlying revenue being up 18% to £418.6m for the six months.

However, the company also opened 21 new stores in the period, creating more than 250 jobs globally, and expects to open a further 13-15 in H2, “putting it comfortably on course to meet its medium-term ambition of 25-35 more stores per year”.

The new stores helped the company deliver a key pillar of its strategy, selling more product through its own stores and website, with sales direct to consumers via its own channels jumping 21% year-on-year to £179.8m.

The business sold 6.3 million pairs of boots, shoes, and sandals, up 400,000 on an underlying basis compared with the same period of 2021, with sales increasing in all three of the group’s key regions, North America, EMEA and APAC.

The company says that the results would have been even stronger, but £10m of revenue from EMEA wholesale partners slipped from September to October due to strikes at the Port of Felixstowe and labour shortages at a Dutch distribution centre.

The company also invested more in marketing and made a strategic decision to build inventory to meet growing demand, particularly in the US where sales rose 31%, helped by new store openings in Houston and Chicago, and the strength of the US dollar.

Dr Martens CEO Kenny Wilson (pictured above) said: “This has been another good period of progress in delivering our strategy of selling more pairs of boots, shoes and sandals direct to consumers via our own stores and website.

“We have seen good growth in all three key regions, and we continued to invest in the brand and growing our global footprint.

“Our success demonstrates the strength of the Dr Martens brand and its evergreen appeal to consumers of all ages and genders in markets around the world.”

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