Dr Martens warns over earnings after warm weather drags on sales

Boot and shoe company Dr Martens has warned over earnings after weak US sales dragged on trading (Tim Ireland/PA)
Boot and shoe company Dr Martens has warned over earnings after weak US sales dragged on trading (Tim Ireland/PA)

Dr Martens has warned that earnings for the year are set to fall below expectations after it was knocked by weak US trading and warm weather.

On Thursday, the boot and shoe company revealed that sales slumped over the half-year to September as it continued to face pressure from waning demand, particularly in its US wholesale business where business customers have been cautious with orders.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson said: “We are undoubtedly facing some more challenging headwinds in the US, but we are continuing to invest in the business, we continue to have faith in our iconic brand, and we continue to believe in the long-term growth potential of the business.”

A pair of Dr Martens boots
Dr Martens has been affected by weaker sales in the US (Dr Martens/PA)

He said the US business is facing an “increasingly difficult consumer environment” and is therefore looking to “refocus” its marketing efforts in the region and improve online trading.

It was also knocked by warm weather at the start of the autumn/winter season, although trading in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific has improved in recent weeks.

Dr Martens said it expects earnings to be “moderately below the bottom end of the range of consensus expectations”, while finance costs are also expected to affect profits.

It added that sales for the year are set fall by high single digits, compared with the previous year.

It came as the firm revealed that sales fell by 5% to £395.8 million in the six months to September 30, driven by the US sales slump.

Mr Wilson added: “We saw a mixed trading performance in the first half of the year.

“We made good progress with our strategic priorities, continuing to invest in the business and our people to drive sustainable long-term growth.

“During the period we focused on controlling the controllables: we delivered significant supply chain savings, successfully transformed our North America distribution network, opened 25 new stores, and launched a Dr Martens UK repair service.”