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Fashion retalier Superdry issues profit warning after founder's return, blaming weak sales

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Superdry issued a profit warning just over a month after its founder narrowly forced his way back in and began efforts to revitalise the company.

 

[LONDON] Superdry issued a profit warning just over a month after its founder narrowly forced his way back in and began efforts to revitalise the company.

The UK clothing retailer said on Thursday that it expects full-year underlying pretax profit to be below market expectations of £54 million to £59 million (S$96 million to S$105 million) as it blamed weak e-commerce and wholesale sales.

The warning comes after founder Julian Dunkerton returned as interim chief executive officer following a high-profile campaign in which he criticised the lack of innovation and creative flair of the previous management team led by Euan Sutherland. Mr Dunkerton said his focus has been on stabilising the business since then.

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Superdry, which has issued a string of profit warnings, said its performance continued to be weak but that Mr Dunkerton had already identified opportunities to improve efficiency and performance of the business and taken action to implement these.

Mr Dunkerton started out selling clothes at a market stall in Cheltenham, England, in 1985 before teaming up with designer James Holder to create the Superdry brand. The retailer is best known for its outerwear emblazoned with Japanese characters.

The retailer's performance has declined in the past year and a half, with its share price falling 75 per cent since the start of 2018. Mr Dunkerton is the largest shareholder in Superdry with a stake of just over 18 per cent. He left the business last year but campaigned to be re-elected to the board following the decline in performance.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS