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Speedy Supergroup files upbeat trading statement early after document theft

Superdry owner Supergroup turned super-fast Thursday with the unexpected release of its fiscal 2017 preliminary results, four days ahead of schedule. It appears the UK-based group was made aware “that an external party may have had sight of a draft” of the figures “following a random theft from an employee”.

So ahead of Monday’s official and wider release, unaudited highlights show revenue jumped 27.4% to £752m on a comparable 52-week basis, with same-store sales up 12.7%.

Underlying pre-tax profit for the year to April 29 rose 18.4% to £87m, while on a 53-week basis earnings jumped 53%.

However, underlying gross margin was down 130 basis points to 60.2%, ”reflecting strength of wholesale channel mix,” it said.

Supergroup expects full-year underlying pre-tax profit of fiscal 2018 “to be in line with market expectations,” noting inventory cuts have been driving operating efficiencies.

It also expects current year ongoing trading margin will be broadly flat on-year and there will be an up-to-100bps dilution from a planned inventory re-base due to the next phase of its Design to Customer programme.

The company also said sales, distribution and central costs are increasing more slowly than revenue.

Also expect store space to grow by 125,000 sq ft in the new fiscal year with around 50,000 sq ft of that total earmarked for the US. Additionally, some 60 Superdry franchise store openings are planned, up 20% on-year.

The group operates 555 Superdry stores worldwide, up from 475 in the previous year, and is building distribution facilities in Europe and the US.

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