Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Fashion firm SuperGroup's stellar growth continues

Fashion firm SuperGroup has said it had upped the pace of its already-stellar expansion by opening a record number of stores abroad in the last quarter.

Sales at SuperGroup, which markets the Superdry clothing label and claims to be one of the fastest growing fashion retailers, grew 68.4% to £57.5m in the three months to October 31, compared with 60% in the previous quarter.

The retailer opened a record 14 franchise stores overseas in the quarter, including its first in the United Arab Emirates, bringing the total to 49.

It also opened eight stores in the UK and a further 13 concessions in House of Fraser.

More stores are planned to open before Christmas, including in the Trafford Centre in Manchester, Westfield Centre in London and another store in Glasgow.

The business began life on a market stall in Cheltenham more than 20 years ago but floated nearly a third of the business in March to fund growth - triggering a massive windfall for directors including founder Julian Dunkerton.

SuperGroup's shares have more than doubled since flotation, giving the company a current market value of around £950m.

It made £26.5m in pre-tax profits in the year to May 2 - nearly £1m ahead of its guidance in May and dwarfing the previous year's £7.9m.

SuperGroup's brands include Superdry and Cult shops, and so-called 'incubator brands' SurfCo California and 77Breed.

There is one Cult store in Northern Ireland, situated on Belfast's Royal Avenue.

The firm has 49 overseas franchise stores in Australia, South Korea, America, France and Belgium.

Brand and design director James Holder, who started the Bench clothing label, and wholesale and international head Theo Karpathios both own 19.8% of the company.

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