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Dr Martens posts record FY revenue, but profits slip amid ‘operational mistakes’

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Dr Martens

British bootmaker Dr Martens reported record revenue surpassing 1 billion pounds in its preliminary results for the year ended March 31, but its profits took a hit.

The company’s revenue jumped 10 percent in the year, or 4 percent on a constant currency basis, as a strong performance in EMEA offset a softer performance in America.

“Reaching this milestone is testament to the strength of our brand, our long-standing DOCS strategy and the hard work and dedication of our fantastic people globally,” CEO Kenny Wilson said in a statement.

Breaking it down by channel, direct-to-consumer (DTC) revenue increased 16 percent, retail increased 30 percent, and e-commerce increased 6 percent.

Wilson continued: “Direct to consumer is now more than half our revenue and the Dr Martens brand remains strong with all key metrics either ahead of, or in line with, last year.

“In EMEA and Japan, where we executed our strategy well, performance was very good with encouraging momentum going into the new financial year.”

‘Operational mistakes’

Despite the strong revenue growth, Dr Martens took a hit to its bottom line in the year, with its pre-tax profit falling 29 percent to 128.9 million pounds, and EBITDA dropping 7 percent to 245 million pounds.

Wilson admitted that the company made “operational mistakes” in America during the year, “such as the move to our LA Distribution Centre, and how we executed our marketing campaigns and e-commerce trading”.

However, he said: “We have undertaken detailed reviews to understand why these issues occurred and have begun to embed the lessons learned into the business.

“We are fixing the issues in America, including a significant strengthening of the team there, and returning America to good growth is our number one operational priority.”

Looking at the company’s more recent performance, Dr Martens said trading since the start of FY24 has been in line with expectations, “with very good DTC growth against a strong base and wholesale revenue lower than last year”, as expected.

The company still expects FY24 revenue to grow in the mid to high single digits in constant currency.

However, it expects EBITDA margin to be between 1 and 2 percentage points lower than FY23.

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