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Dr. Martens dour US revenue outlook for the year sends stock of iconic bootmaker plunging

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LA Post: Dr. Martens dour US revenue outlook for the year sends stock of iconic bootmaker plunging
April 16, 2024
WYATTE GRANTHAM-PHILIPS - AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Chunky bootmaker Dr. Martens is warning of a tough year ahead.

Dr. Martens shares plunged more than 30% Tuesday after the iconic British brand forecast wholesale revenue in the U.S., its largest market, would decline by double-digits compared with last year.

Trading in Dr. Martens stock was temporarily halted on the London Stock Exchange early Tuesday as it sank to a record-low 0.64 pounds, according to FactSet.

That could translate into a sizeable hit to profits, with the company pointing to a base projected impact of 20 million pounds ($24.9 million) on pretax earnings year-over-year. In-season orders from wholesale customers could help ease U.S. revenue expectations, the company noted, but those are difficult to predict.

Beyond weakening revenue, Dr. Martens anticipates other hefty expenses related to the company's employee retention plans as well as single-digit inflation in its cost base. Unlike years past, the brand does not plan to increase prices to offset those costs.

Dr. Martens also announced a leadership shakeup on Tuesday. After six years at the helm of the company, CEO Kenny Wilson will step down. Ije Nwokorie, Dr. Martens’ chief brand officer, will take his place before the end of the current fiscal year.

In a prepared statement regarding 2025's financial outlook, Wilson acknowledged the challenges ahead, saying that Dr. Martens is focused on its plans to "reignite boots demand, particularly in the USA.”

Still, Wilson said that the brand “remains strong.” Dr. Martens said it saw a pick-up in direct to consumer growth during the fourth quarter.

Shares for Dr. Marten are down more than 56% over the last 12 months, per FactSet.

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