Superdry CEO Julian Dunkerton spoke of progress as he presented a full-year and fourth-quarter update on Thursday. While it clearly has some way to go before it fully recovers, it appears to be on the right track.
Financial year 2022 covers much of 2021 and early this year, so clearly includes the periods in which the pandemic was felt, as well as the months following the pandemic. The company provided comparisons for both the prior Covid-affected year (fiscal 2021) and the year prior to the pandemic (fiscal 2020).
Taking the direct comparisons of 52 weeks versus 52 weeks in the year to the end of April (the actual figures were slightly skewed because the latest year was 53 weeks), the company reported that revenue was down for the year as a whole, but up in the last quarter.
Even for the full year, store revenues rebounded with a 59.8% year-over-year increase as it overcame forced closures and easing restrictions in its key markets. All this despite footfall remaining «significantly below pre-Covid levels.»
Unsurprisingly, e-commerce revenue was down 24% year-on-year, «reflecting an element of channel shift towards physical retail and our reduced promotional activity, in line with our strategic focus on full-price sales.»
However, full-price sales mix increased 26 percentage points compared to the prior year, resulting in a 590 percentage point improvement in retail gross margin.
Superdry reported an «encouraging» wholesale revenue increase of 4.2% year-on-year, despite the prolonged disruption in European markets.
Looking at the figures in detail, group revenue in the 2022 financial year was £600.7 million (€700.6 million), an increase of 8% compared to the 2021 financial year and a decrease of 14.7% compared to the pre-pandemic 2020 financial year.
Store sales rose by 59.8% in the year to £224.5 million (€261.85 million), but fell by 21.8% compared with fiscal 2020. E-commerce, at £153.4 million (€178.92 million), was down 24%, as mentioned above, compared to the previous year, but up 1.2% compared to 2020 financial year.
Between its stores and online operations, total retail revenues were £378 million (€440.88 million), up 10.4% year-on-year and down 13.9 % from two years earlier.
Meanwhile, wholesale sales amounted to £222.8 million (€259.87 million) year-on-year, but were down 16.1% on the pre-Covid period.
On the positive side, the fourth quarter was clearly a better period for the company. Total group revenue reached £159.7 million (€186.27 million), representing an increase of 17 % over the 2021 financial year and 6.7 % over the 2020 financial year.
Store revenues were up 203 % year-on-year to £47.2 million (€55.05 million), and up 22.9 % from two years ago. E-commerce, as expected, was down 21.5 % in the year to £38.2 million (€44.55 million). It was also down 6.6% from two years ago, although given that the period included at least one month of direct comparison with a period of confinement, this was not a surprise.
Total retail revenue was up 33 % on the year at £85.4 million (€99.61 million), and up 7.7 % on two years ago, while wholesale was up 2.7 % on the year to £74.2 million (€86.54 million), and up 5.6 % on two years.
«We continue to execute on our strategy to return the Superdry brand to a premium position and I am excited about the progress we are making. Despite challenging trading conditions and market turmoil, our focus on full-price trading will deliver strong gross margin improvement in the 2022 financial year,» said Julian Dunkerton.
«We are aware of the cost of living pressures on consumers, which means that now, more than ever, we must continue to offer products that represent what is important to them: quality, style and sustainability at great value.»
«As we move into fiscal 2023, we remain cautious about the macroeconomic outlook and the impact of inflation, but we are confident that our strategy is positioning the brand for future success.»