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Superdry woes continue as H1 sales drop, CFO exits

(Sharecast News) - Superdry has reported a substantial reduction in group sales in the first half and said that there was no let up in the "challenging" trading conditions over Christmas as it painted a gloomy outlook for the full financial year. The fashion retailer also announced that its chief financial officer of three and a half years, Shaun Wills, has decided to step down from the board and will leave the company at the end of March.

Group revenue in the six months to 29 October were down 23.5% year-on-year at £219.8m, impacted by the challenging consumer retail market, unseasonal weather, and the underperformance of the company's wholesale segment.

As a result, losses nearly doubled with the adjusted loss before tax increasing to £25.3m from £13.6m.

The company is working hard to "rightsize" its operating cost base, and is set to deliver over £40m in savings this financial year, ahead of the original target of £35m, with more than £20m achieved in the first half.

"This has clearly been a difficult period for Superdry. A challenging consumer retail market, set against a backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and some remarkably unseasonal weather conditions have all combined to weaken the financial performance of the group," said chief executive Julian Dunkerton.

Without giving any specific financial guidance, the company said that trading over the 12 weeks to 20 January was equally as challenging, with milder weather and heavy discounting impacting the key trading period trading, with group revenues falling 13.7% in the second half so far.

"We expect full-year results to reflect the more challenging environment seen to-date," the company said.

Regarding the Superdry CFO's departure, Wills will be replaced by Giles David, who joins the company as interim CFO next week. David has a "strong track record in consumer-facing businesses where he has operated successfully in turnaround environments", having held roles at companies including McColls, Casual Dining Group and Wiggle.

"I have enjoyed my time at Superdry but now is the right time for me to move on. Superdry remains a business and brand of which I am extremely fond, and I wish Julian and the team every success in the future," Will said.

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