Today's Falling Knife: SuperGroup Crashes 9%

Published in Company Comment on 12 December 2012

SuperGroup (LON:SGP) sees its EPS almost halve year on year... but reports 3.9% half-year sales growth.

Shares in SuperGroup (LSE: SGP) plummeted in early trading this morning, on the announcement of its interim results. Owner of the Superdry brand, the company's share price had fallen to 545.50p at the time of writing, a 8.5% drop from yesterday's close of 596.50p.

At £13.9m, pre-tax profit languished 31.5% behind H1 2011's figure of £20.3m, causing basic earnings per share to crash 47.8% (down to 9.6p from 18.4p).

However, group revenue increased 16.2% to £158.2m from £136.1m at the same stage last year, while sales in the first half saw growth of 3.9%.

Other reasons to cause shareholders optimism include SuperGroup's expansion on the internet and internationally -- the web now represents 10.2% of group revenue, up from 8.2% in 2011, while websites have been launched in Canada, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. Addditionally, 37 franchise and licensed stores also opened -- including the first franchise store in India, an emerging-market target for many investors.

The retailer also saw its net cash position increase 106.1% year on year to £16.9m (H1 2011: £8.2m).

Chief executive Julian Dunkerton commented:

"Although the trading environment has remained challenging and volatile, the Group's sales performance in the first half of the year has been encouraging. There have been a number of positive factors that have supported this performance but it is clear that the ongoing investment in design and the growing presence of the brand have enhanced sales both in the UK and overseas.

"During the last six months there has been significant change in the Group's management structure as we commit to building a solid platform to support our future growth. Good progress is being made but the full infrastructure upgrades, and the associated benefits, will take a number of years to deliver.

"The economic outlook remains uncertain but I am confident in our strategy and our ability to maximise the opportunities we have in the UK and internationally and deliver our full year profit targets."

So does this morning's share-price drop represent a buying opportunity? That's for you to conduct further research into and make your own mind up, but the clothing retail sector certainly is a volatile arena, as we've seen rapid recovery gains here before...

SuperGroup initially floated at £5 and reached a high of around £18, before crashing to a low of about 250p. Now sitting near 570p -- having previously reached around 700p -- the fashion retailer is an example of how choppy markets can still provide the big winners to take you to that magic million. You can download The Motley Fool's "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" for free right now. But hurry, the report is available for a limited time only. Click here to get it in your inbox now.

> Sam does not own shares in SuperGroup.

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