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Fashion retailer Superdry's stronger than expected sales boosts shares

LONDON (Reuters) - British fashion retailer Superdry traded ahead of expectations in the latest quarter and has boosted its liquidity with a new 70 million pound ($92 million) lending facility to get it through the Covid-19 crisis, sending its shares higher.

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a window display at a Superdry store in London, Britain, March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The stock was up 15% at 0748 GMT, paring 2020 losses to 73%.

Superdry SDRY.L which sells sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets adorned with Japanese text, said that while trading in the 13 weeks to July 25, its fiscal first quarter, was materially impacted by the crisis, the 24.1% fall in group revenue was better than its initial expectations.

The group’s stores were shuttered in the coronavirus lockdown but some 95% have now reopened.

First-quarter store revenue fell 58.1%, while wholesale revenue was down 31%. However, E-commerce made up some of the shortfall with revenue growth of 93.2%.

“Trading in stores is much better than we had expected and the growth delivered in E-commerce ... in Q1 is very much ahead of the +7% in Q4,” analysts at Liberum said.

Last month, bigger rival Next NXT.L raised its profit forecast after its quarterly sales fall was also less than feared as Britain emerged from lockdown.

Superdry said the asset-backed lending facility was agreed with its existing lenders HSBC HSBA.L and BNP Paribas BNPP.PA and runs to January 2023.

As at August 6, Superdry had net cash of 57.8 million pounds on its balance sheet.

“The actions we have taken to date have greatly strengthened our cash position, which together with our new ABL Facility, give us the flexibility to execute our current plans and to secure our recovery,” said co-founder and CEO Julian Dunkerton who retook control of the group in April last year.

Reporting by James Davey, editing by Louise Heavens/Kate Holton/Jane Merriman

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