Advertise with fastmoving.co.za
 
 

Julian Dunkerton was voted back on the board and named CEO after backing from shareholders looking for the group's revival.
Julian Dunkerton was voted back on the board and named CEO after backing from shareholders looking for the group's revival.

Superdry slumps as founder's return sparks board revolt

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

By Noor Zainab Hussain - Apr 4th, 13:34

Shares in Superdry fell more than 11% after founder Julian Dunkerton narrowly forced his way back into the company, which sparked the exit of most of its board members, including top executives. 

Dunkerton, the former boss of Superdry was voted back on the board by a slim margin and hours later was named interim CEO after winning the backing of shareholders looking for a revival of the fashion group’s fortunes.

The move did not sit well with most of Superdry’s board, which had opposed his comeback. CEO Euan Sutherland, who has been at the helm for five years, resigned immediately.

Dunkerton, who owns 18.4% of the equity, quit a year ago after a row over strategy. He takes issue in particular with Superdry’s product design and internet plans.

Analysts said the resignations raised fears of more departures as the company deals with a share price that has dropped 64% over the past year following several profit warnings, the latest in December.

“We would be more concerned if we see further significant departures from the retail board and operational management teams and view the recruitment of a heavyweight CFO as a priority,” Peel Hunt analysts said.

Analysts also said short-term disruptions were inevitable as Dunkerton steadies the ship and starts to enact his recovery plans, which will tack on costs as the company tries to jump-start revenue.

Dunkerton and co-founder James Holder run a “Save Superdry” website, which highlights that Superdry lost about £865m of its value after Dunkerton left the board.

Investec analysts downgraded their recommendation on the stock to “hold” from “buy”, adding that the resignation of all but one board member left the group in a “management and strategic vacuum”.

Superdry’s board had accused Dunkerton of a lack of transparency with shareholders and said his return would see directors either resign or not seek re-election.

“The resignation of the entire board of Superdry and its two brokers following co-founder Julian Dunkerton’s narrow victory vote to return as CEO, monumental as it may be, is really only the tip of the iceberg where necessary change is concerned,” Edison Investment analyst Kate Heseltine, said.

Analysts said Superdry will need to provide a clear view of the future to investors.

“From here the hard work begins to turn around the fortunes of this once darling retailer that has seen its sales and profits, and the share price, plummet over the past year,” Heseltine said.

Investec analysts said Superdry has relied heavily on the Christmas season and an overreliance on hoodies, graphic tees and outerwear, and were sceptical of Dunkerton’s strategy to fix these issues.Business Live 

Related News

Truworths profit at nine-year low as profit plunges over 70%
16/08/2019 - 11:52
Shares in Truworths slumped to a nine-year low on Friday morning after the fashion retailer reported a 74% slide in profits amid difficult trading environments in SA and the UK.

UnionPay cards - the largest card scheme in the world - now accepted at all Pick n Pay stores across SA
16/08/2019 - 11:11
UnionPay International (UPI) has announced significant progress in the South African retail payments market through their co-operation with Pick n Pay and Absa Bank. Through a tripartite co-operation agreement, Pick n Pay, a major food, clothing, and general merchandise retailer, is now enabled to accept UnionPay cards at all of its till points across its approximately 1,800 stores countrywide.

Pernod Ricard SA to centralise operations with Johannesburg move
16/08/2019 - 10:27
In a move set to enhance cohesion, collaboration and efficiencies, Pernod Ricard South Africa (PRSA), a co-leader of wine and spirits worldwide will officially relocate its Cape Town offices to Woodmead, Johannesburg by 31st December this year.

Why equipment finance makes sense for your SME
15/08/2019 - 15:26
Every business, be it in retail, agriculture, and even tech, simply cannot operate without the necessary equipment to run their operations. Equipment can be costly, and that is why equipment finance for small businesses appeals to most small-medium business owners.

With banana leaf lamps, H&M backs firms promising social change
15/08/2019 - 10:31
With lampshades made by Indian women and trays from East Africa, H&M said that it had become the latest retail giant to back businesses with a mission to do good, as pressure mounts to end throwaway consumerism.