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Dr Martens Q1 sales jump above pre-Covid levels

By Huw Hughes



Image: Dr Martens

British bootmaker Dr Martens has reported a surge in first-quarter sales ahead of pre-Covid 2019 levels.

The company, which earlier this year launched its IPO on the London Stock Exchange, said revenue in the three months to June 30 reached 147.3 million pounds - that’s 52 percent higher than a year ago, which the company said was a “weak comparative” due to the heavy impact of Covid.

More importantly, revenue was 31 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic took its toll on the business.

Breaking it down by channel, Dr Martens said it saw an “encouraging recovery” in retail with stores reopening across the US, UK and continental Europe. It said Japan remains its most affected market, with some stores still closed and others operating with varying capacity restrictions.

But compared to the prior-year period, when the vast majority of its own stores were impacted across the world, retail revenue more than tripled in the first quarter of this year. Compared to the same period two years ago, however, sales were still down 6 percent.

In terms of e-commerce, sales continued to grow strongly, up 11 percent compared to the year before and 155 percent compared to two years ago.

America the ‘standout’ market

Dr Martens said it saw a “very strong performance” in its wholesale business “as customers normalised shipment timings back towards Q1”. As a result, wholesale revenue was up 50 percent compared to a year earlier and 23 percent compared to two years ago.

“Given the rescheduling of orders in FY21, we face a stronger comparative in Q2 and therefore expect wholesale sales growth to moderate,” the company said.

In terms of region, the Americas stood out, with revenue up 106 percent, while EMEA and APAC delivered growth of 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Dr Martens CEO Kenny Wilson said he was “very pleased” with the Q1 performance and pointed out it’s usually the company’s quietest quarter as it’s the end of the spring/summer season.

“Our larger autumn/winter season begins from Q2 and our performance to date gives us confidence for the remainder of the year,” he said in a statement.

But the company warned it faces a “much stronger comparative” in Q2, adding: “We anticipate that the pattern of trading through the year will be non-linear and, like many others across the industry, we are experiencing inbound shipping delays and other operational challenges due to Covid-19.”

Despite that, it said it remains confident in the delivery of its guidance for FY22 and over the medium-term.

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