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Dr Martens hails profit jump but US unit impacted by shipping delays

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Dr Martens has said its profits for the past half-year have been boosted by increased stock levels but saw its US wholesale business particularly impacted by supply disruption.

The boot maker and fashion brand saw shares slip after it said supply chain pressure is expected to continue into the new year.

Kenny Wilson, chief executive of the business, said he is optimistic despite uncertainty surrounding increased pandemic restrictions in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

He told the PA news agency: “We can be fairly positive in the circumstances as we continued to perform well – obviously driven by online – during the first set of restrictions.

“I think demand is still looking very positive and we are confident this will remain.

“In the UK, it is looking like there could be a loss of some traffic in stores but we expect that is likely to shift into online sales instead.”

Dr Martens said it has been pleased with its Christmas preparations, which it said have benefited from high levels of inventory through the year.

However, the boss said disruption to factories in Vietnam impacted revenues by around £20 million over the first half of the year, although supply problems in the region have eased.

Current sales have seen positive momentum “strengthen” during October and November.

The company said it also saw a gradual improvement in its US wholesale operation but highlighted that it “continues to be impacted by shipping delays and uncertainty around the timing of shipments being processed through ports”.

It added that this is expected to continue “into the next financial year”.

It came as the company reported that sales increased by 16% to £369.9 million for the half-year to September, compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Dr Martens said pre-tax profits jumped by 46% to £61.3 million for the six-month period.

Mr Wilson added: “Our strong first half performance combined with the continued momentum in DTC (direct to consumer) trading into the second half gives us confidence in achieving market expectations for the full year.

“I remain hugely excited about the growth potential of the Dr Martens brand.”

Shares in the business moved 5.8% lower to 377.6p.

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