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Fashion brand Superdry will not meet prior fiscal 2020 targets

·1-min read
A woman walks past a window display at a Superdry store in London

(Reuters) - British fashion brand Superdry <SDRY.L> said on Wednesday it would miss its 2020 targets because of the "unprecedented challenges" of the coronavirus outbreak, but added it had a strong capital position and was in talks with lenders about additional flexibility and liquidity.

The company said it would now not meet forecasts given in early January for fiscal year 2020, which was underlying pre-tax profit in the range of zero to 10 million pounds, and also would not give a formal outlook for the year.

It said 78 stores were shut due to government-mandated closures in Europe, which accounts for 40% of its weekly sales forecasts, and that it was seeing sharp falls in U.S. and UK traffic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday essentially shut down social life in Britain and ordered the most vulnerable to isolate for 12 weeks, as the country steps up efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus.

That added to pre-existing challenges on the High Street for retailers, with shoppers increasingly shifting to online websites to order clothes and other essentials.

Superdry, known for its Japanese style logo designs, in January reported poor Christmas trading.

As the coronavirus outbreak aggravates retail conditions, pressure mounts for Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton, who returned to the group after a boardroom coup in April and has since been overhauling product and cutting promotions to revive the brand.

Superdry shares, which have plunged more than 80% so far this year, were down 6% soon after the opening bell on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)