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Jul 9, 2015
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British fashion retailer SuperGroup makes move into China

By
Reuters
Published
Jul 9, 2015

SuperGroup, the British company behind the Superdry fashion brand, has signed a joint venture deal to take its clothes into China, it said on Thursday, stepping up its push for a global presence.

The firm, whose trademark jackets, hooded tops and jogging bottoms are popular with teenagers and twentysomethings, has over 160 stores in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, with goods sold in over 100 countries including concessions and online.

Superdry


Expansion is planned in countries such as Germany and Austria, but it has also moved to gain exposure to the United States, and now China.

Having bought its U.S. licence back in March to help accelerate growth, the company said on Thursday it had struck a minimum 10-year deal with retailer Trendy International Group to open its stores in China, a country set to overtake the United States as the world's biggest apparel market.
Shares in the company were up 3.6 percent at 1,285 pence in early trade, boosted also by strong first-quarter sales figures.

"We believe SuperGroup's global growth opportunities remain undervalued. It is an early stage roll-out story with potential to double its UK & European owned store base, plus franchise growth opportunities and longer-term upside from the U.S. and now China," said Investec analyst Kate Calvert, who has a 'buy' rating on the stock.

The first Chinese stores will not open until the middle of 2016, SuperGroup said, declining to give specific rollout figures. The tie-up will be funded by a combined investment of up to 18 million pounds ($28 million) and is expected to be self-funding within two years of being in operation.

Trendy, which has 3,000 stores in China, will manage daily operations while SuperGroup focuses on brands and marketing.

SuperGroup also reported a small rise in profit for the year to April 25. Underlying pretax profit rose 2 percent to 63.2 million pounds, within its guided range of 60-65 million pounds, on revenue up 12.9 percent at 486.6 million pounds.

The firm said trading in its new fiscal year had started well, albeit against a weak comparative period, with like-for-like retail sales up 20.3 percent in the first 10 weeks.

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