Superdry chief executive julian dunkerton bought 1.57m-worth of the companys shares after it released its annual results, in which the premium clothing retailers losses fell further as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The chief executive, along with a handful of directors, took advantage of the relaxation of share purchase restrictions after the results were published. superdry directors have been locked in a close period since the end of april, which prohibits directors from taking advantage of inside information to buy or sell shares. in may, the company opted to delay the planned release of its results in july in response to the coronavirus pandemic. this left management unable to purchase superdry shares for around five months.
The companys results revealed that its pre-tax losses had deepened to 167m, from 89m last year. revenues fell by nearly a fifth to 704m, which the company attributed to the pandemic, along with a planned move away from persistent discounting.
While superdry has made efforts to reduce the amount of promotional activity it does since mr dunkertons return last year, the pandemic has forced it to discount more clothing in a bid to clear excess stock. the results coincided with the launch of its new autumn and winter collection, which is the first collection overseen by the chief executive since his comeback.
Mr dunkerton was joined by chairman peter williams and audit committee chairman alastair miller in picking up superdry shares. mr williams and mr miller acquired 72,046 and 27,112 in stock, respectively.
Peel hunt forecasts 2021 adjusted pre-tax losses and losses per share of 25.8m and 25.2p, respectively, before returning to profits and earnings per share of 22m and 21.5p in 2022.
Building materials distributor sig was already having a tough time before covid-19 arrived, battling to overcome nearly a decade of contraction. but amid the pandemics disruption to construction activity, the groups sales fell by almost a quarter year on year in the six months to june 30, to 840m.
The drop in sales particularly from higher-margin roof merchanting translated to an underlying pre-tax loss of 54m, down from a 17m profit a year earlier. on the back of a 43m goodwill impairment to reflect the impact of covid-19, the statutory pre-tax loss was more severe at 125m.
The balance sheet is looking more positive thanks to the 165m secured via an equity raise in july. this included an 83m investment from us private equity giant clayton, dubilier and rice, which is now sigs largest shareholder. together with the proceeds from selling its air handling business, this has pushed sig into a 29m net cash position, excluding lease liabilities.
With trading during lockdown being better than expected, the group believes that full-year sales will be higher than previously thought it had guided in may that revenue would fall by about 500m versus 2019. sales in july and august were still down compared with a year earlier, but have been described as encouraging. sig expects the second half to remain lossmaking, albeit at a lower rate.
Shortly after these half-year numbers were unveiled, chief executive steven francis purchased almost 320,000 shares in aggregate worth 75,000. while that may not be the largest directors deal weve ever seen, it is nonetheless a sign of confidence from the person tasked with turning sig around. mr francis took the helm in february with an initial contract running until the end of the year, although the appointment has since been made permanent. his tenure has not been without controversy in july, more than two-fifths of shareholders voted against handing him a 375,000 bonus after less than four months in the job.