- Fashion retailer Superdry reported a deeper first-half loss and scrapped its interim dividend, as the pandemic and related forced store closures disrupted the company's turnaround attempts.

Pre-tax losses for the 26 weeks through 24 October amounted to £18.9 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £4.2 million.

Revenue plunged 23% to £282.7 million and underlying losses deepened to £10.6 million.

Superdry said 23% of its owned-store trading days were lost during the reporting period due to lockdown restrictions 'and the continued impact of social distancing on footfall even when open'.

Gross margin contracted 460 basis points to 51.7%, which Superdry pinned on increased online promotional activity to clear excess inventory.

Founder and chief executive Julian Dunkerton said Covid-19 challenges had continued into the second half with renewed lockdowns in the company's key markets.

'While revenue and underlying profit have been impacted by the external conditions, the brand has continued to focus on the reset,' Dunkerton said.

'However, with over 70% of stores currently closed and having to shut a significant number over peak, it will take time to see the benefits of all our hard work flow through to the results.'

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