SuperGroup Plc (LON:SGP), owner of clothing brand Superdry, today announced a number of measures in its updated strategy for delivering sustainable, long-term growth. Along with setting out its strategically important priorities, the company also revealed upcoming changes to its board and a decision to commence dividend payments in the 2016 financial year. A major highlight of the press release was that British star actor Idris Elba has agreed to collaborate with SuperGroup in designing a new premium line of clothing.
SuperGroup’s shares surged 6.62 percent to 995.28p as of 10:28 GMT in London today, as investors welcomed the update. The company’s stock has now climbed almost 20 percent from a two-month low earlier this month, though year-on-year the share price is still down more than 30 percent.
SuperGroup set out four “pillars” for growth in the updated strategy guide, with a focus on the Superdry brand and efforts to broaden and strengthen its presence. As a “natural step” in that direction, the company had decided to acquire its distribution partner in North America, SDUSA LLC, reclaiming the exclusive rights to sell the Superdry brand. The purchase of the loss-making company cost SuperGroup £22.3 million, with further costs in 2015 and 2016 projected to total about £17 million.
However, despite this new burden, the Cheltenham-based company said that it intends to begin dividend payments, with an interim dividend in FY16, which starts on April 26. SuperGroup also confirmed that its FY15 profit guidance remains in the range of £60 - £65 million.
"Today we are setting out our strategy to deliver sustainable growth,” SuperGroup chief executive Euan Sutherland commented. “Superdry is an iconic brand with a strong heritage and we will continue to broaden and strengthen its appeal to customers across countries and age groups."
In a bid to boost the appeal of Superdry, the company revealed a surprising celebrity twist to its strategy, announcing that British actor Idris Elba has agreed to collaborate with SuperGroup. Elba, nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one, will help with the design of a new premium line of clothing, and will be the public face of that line, SuperGroup said.
The clothing retailer also announced a “strengthening” of the board, with Penny Hughes being appointed as non-executive director with effect from April 1. Hughes is currently a non-executive director at Morrison Supermarkets and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, SuperGroup noted. She has worked at Gap, Next, Vodafone and Coca-Cola, among other companies.
Penny “brings with her a wealth of highly relevant experience, having worked with leading UK and US retailers and global brands,” SuperGroup chairman Peter Bamford commented.