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Superdry Founder has ‘no plans’ to take business private

Tom Shearsmith
02 February 2023

Following persistent rumours that Superdry is planning to go private, Founder and CEO Julian Dunkerton has dismissed rumours with a public statement.

Noting recent press reports Dunkerton said that there were “no plans to do this at the moment”.

The stock exchange statement continued, explaining that "Julian Dunkerton and any person(s) acting in concert with him reserve the right to make or participate in an offer for Superdry within the next six months following the date of this announcement."

Any potential deal would only go ahead with the agreement of the Superdry Board and following an announcement of a firm intention.

Superdry recently warned investors that it now expects to break even for the full year after suffering a hit from shipping delays, despite enjoying a boost in sales over Christmas and Black Friday.

The fashion group said revenues in its wholesale business slumped by more than 57% in the nine weeks to 31 December due to post-Covid lags in dispatching items.

It led the retailer to downgrade its expected adjusted pre-tax profits to broadly breakeven, from previously estimating that profits would hit between £10 million and £20 million. Shares in Superdry plunged by around 15% on Friday morning.

The group – which has 219 shops and 450 franchise stores – revealed its adjusted pre-tax losses hit £13.6 million in the half year to 29 October, having had a difficult year in the face of dampened consumer demand and spiralling costs.

Nevertheless, group revenues were up by 3.6% compared to the first half in 2021, from £277 million to £287 million.

Commenting on the results, Dunkerton, said: “The Superdry brand has real momentum and I’m delighted by how our retail trading continues to strengthen. Despite the underlying brand recovery, our profits in the first half fell short of expectations mainly due to the underperformance of wholesale.

“Whilst we did trade well through November and December, the outlook for the remainder of the year is uncertain and as a result, we are moderating our profit outlook to broadly breakeven. We don’t expect market conditions to become easier any time soon, but with a new financing package in place and the brand in great health, we approach the year ahead with optimism.”

In December 2022, the firm announced it had agreed a new three-year loan facility worth up to £80 million. The refinancing, which it has agreed with lender Bantry Bay Capital, replaces a £70 million scheme that ended in January and in will include higher interest rates.

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