UK downturn puts boot into Dr Martens

Shares in Dr Martens skidded Thursday after a cost-of-living crisis put the boot into the iconic British shoemaker, its latest results showed.

Dr Martens stock slumped 20 percent to 227.80 pence in morning deals on the London stock market.

Net profit slid eight percent to £45 million ($53 million) in the six months to September compared with a year earlier, it said in a statement.

The performance was marred by the souring UK climate, as consumers tightened their belts in the face of decades-high inflation.

Group revenues, however, rallied 13 percent to £418.6 million on rising prices in the UK and a strong dollar that made Dr Martens cheaper for US customers.

The group gained also from an increased focus on direct sales via its own stores and website.

At the same time, the stronger dollar increased the cost of raw materials priced in the US unit.

Dr Martens also benefitted from easing coronavirus restrictions.

“The iconic British boots brand seemed to defy the doom and gloom over the summer,” noted Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

“However, the macroeconomic pressures from inflation and the consumer slowdown appear to be catching up with it now.”

The group warned this would weigh on its profitability in the current financial year.

Dr Martens began life in 1959 as a tiny German company making orthopaedic boots. It became a publicly-listed company nearly two years ago when it floated on the London stock market.

Its initial public offering came in at 370 pence. (AFP)

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