Superdry owner SuperGroup shrugged off the consumer gloom today as higher sales and profits set it up for a merry Christmas.
The group, whose UK and Ireland portfolio features 81 wholly-owned stores, 71 concessions and five franchises, said like-for-like sales in the six weeks since October 28 were up 9.3%, compared to 3.9% growth in the previous six months.
SuperGroup, which started life as a market stall in Cheltenham, said the strong current trading performance meant it was well-positioned ahead of the key festive period.
Meanwhile, sales of jackets, gilets and sweatshirts helped drive a 13% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £14.7m (€18.2m) in the six months to October 28.
However, this performance was flattered by soft sales in the previous year, when the company was hit by problems with new warehouse management systems.
SuperGroup chief executive Julian Dunkerton said: “Although the trading environment has remained challenging and volatile, the group’s sales performance in the first half of the year has been encouraging.”
He added: “The economic outlook remains uncertain but I am confident in our strategy and our ability to maximise the opportunities we have in the UK and internationally and deliver our full year profit targets.”
The company said group revenues were up 16% to £158.2m (€196.2m) in the period as it opened three new stores and closed one store in the UK and Ireland.
It also opened 14 new franchise stores, mainly in the Middle East and Asia, five concessions, of which three were in South Korea and two licensed stores in the US.
Online sales were up 24% in the period and the business now operates through 12 overseas websites, including new sites for Switzerland, Canada, Spain and Italy.