Dr Martens today (June 1st) announced another set of record results, after selling more pairs of boots, shoes, and sandals than at any time in its 62-year history.
The iconic footwear brand, founded in 1960, revealed record revenue up 18% to £908.3m for the year to the end of March 2022 and adjusted pre-tax profits up 43% to £214.3m.
The business sold 14.1 million pairs of boots, shoes, and sandals, up 1.4m on the prior year, and twice as many as four years ago, demonstrating the universal and enduring appeal of the brand.
Iconic products, such as the original 1460 boot, 1461 shoe and 2976 Chelsea Boot, made up the lion’s share of sales, as has always been the case, insulating the brand from the vagaries of fashion.
The results also showed that the company had hit all the targets set at the time of the IPO in January 2021, such as delivering “high teens” revenue growth.
This was achieved in the face of some significant headwinds, such as factory and store closures, shipping delays and higher costs, caused by the pandemic.
CEO Kenny Wilson said: “This has been a year of outstanding progress, despite an extremely challenging external environment.
“Our success demonstrates the strength of the Dr Martens brand and its universal and evergreen appeal to consumers of all ages and genders in markets around the world.
“It is also a huge testimony to the hard work and dedication of our people, and I am delighted that they are sharing in that success through our bonus schemes.
“We look forward to the future with confidence as we roll out our DOCS strategy in our seven key markets around the world.”
The company also disclosed data highlighting the scale of that opportunity, with per capita sales in the UK still well above markets such as Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA.
Whilst Dr Martens sold 32 pairs per thousand people in its most-established market, the UK, last year and that market continues to grow, that figure was much lower at 17 pairs per thousand people in its biggest market, the US, and just four pairs per thousand in Japan, the firm’s biggest market in Asia.
“In some of our seven key markets sales per capita are still less than a quarter of the level of the UK,” said Wilson, “that’s a massive opportunity for future growth.
“Our decision over recent years to take back control of Germany, Italy, and Spain – selling directly to consumers via our own stores and website – is a key part of the strategy for international growth.
“This enables us to showcase the brand in the best possible way and engage with consumers. It is also the most profitable route to market.”
Dr Martens announced plans to accelerate its new store opening programme from 20-25 per year to 25-35 a year, with the US a major focus. The company is also transferring control of approximately half of the 31 Dr Martens branded franchise stores in Japan, at the end of the financial year.
Finally, the Board is proposing paying a final dividend of 4.28p per share, taking the total for the year to 5.50p and increasing the total pay-out ratio to 30%, from 25% at the half-year, reflecting confidence in the performance and prospects of the business.