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Superdry bolsters its balance sheet as coronavirus sends sales plunging

Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor
·2-min read

Retailer Superdry has seen shares soar after cheering a new £70 million financing deal with its banks to help it through the coronavirus crisis as store sales continue to tumble.

Shares in the fashion brand surged as much as 22% at one stage after it revealed the balance sheet boost and said first-quarter sales declines had been better than feared.

Total sales declines in the three months to July 25 narrowed to 24.1%, but it admitted that trading remained “materially” affected by the pandemic despite 95% of its shops now having reopened.

Total store sales plunged 58.1% in its first quarter, with like-for-like trading down 32.3% in the 13 weeks to July 25.

Online sales surged 93.2% in the quarter, though it said they have started returning to more normal levels in recent weeks as stores reopen with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Superdry profits
Co-founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the new financing deal helps secure Superdry’s recovery (Superdry/PA)

The group said previously that growth in its e-commerce business had offset around a third of lost store sales when it was forced to shut all its outlets.

Co-founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said the new financing deal helps “secure our recovery”.

It comes after the company had already taken numerous steps to save cash, including furloughing 88% of its staff at one stage in the lockdown, and rent deferrals from landlords.

Mr Dunkerton said: “The actions we have taken to date have greatly strengthened our cash position, which, together with our new asset-backed lending facility, give us the flexibility to execute our current plans and to secure our recovery.

“Together, we are making our way through this unprecedented period and I’m confident we can reset the brand and deliver on our transformation plans.”

Retail experts at Liberum said Superdry’s sales performance was “much better than we expected”.

They added: “There is significant recovery opportunity ahead with autumn/winter 2020, where new product and ranges not only look very promising but could provide a step-change in trading performance across the group.”