Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton has renewed his war of words with the fashion chain, criticising management as he seeks to return to the board.

Mr Dunkerton earlier this month officially called for a shareholder meeting as part of his efforts to stage a comeback, having left the board last year.

He said in a circular on Thursday that the retailer's current management, led by chief executive Euan Sutherland, has presided over a "catastrophic decline".

"The company is in such a weakened state that it has floundered on one season's collection, but the real issues facing the business are far more fundamental, strategically and operationally.

"Superdry must return to its design-led roots," Mr Dunkerton railed.

READ MORE: Superdry urges shareholders to reject co-founder's comeback bid

Superdry had launched its own verbal assault on Mr Dunkerton, branding his attempt to return to the company "extremely damaging".

It added that Mr Dunkerton's strategy would "fail", be "divisive" and reintroduce a leadership style that does not fit within the "open-minded collaborative culture, values and operation of the company".

The shareholder meeting to decide whether to reinstall Mr Dunkerton on the board will take place on April 2, and the board is recommending that investors vote against his return.

HeraldScotland:

Healthcare group Bupa posted a 19 per cent fall in profits last year after it sold part of its UK elderly care business and battled headwinds in the Australia business.

The company also warned that conditions will continue to be "challenging" in a number of its key markets.

Bupa made a pre-tax profit of £502 million in 2018 compared with £620m the year earlier as revenue fell to £11.9 billion from £12.2bn.
On an underlying basis, profits fell 12% to £613m.

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Bupa incurred a £36m loss from the disposal of a portion of its UK care homes and its stake in Torrejon Salud, a public hospital that the company ran in Spain.

It also booked a £36m impairment for its aged care business in New Zealand.

DFS has said this year will be "challenging", as the furniture group braces for the potential impact of Brexit.

The sofa retailer reported strong like-for-like sales growth of 6.6 per cent in the 22 weeks to December 30.

Group revenue in the period was up 29.1% to £422.3 million, while underlying earnings climbed 23.8% to £32.8m.

However, chief executive Tim Stacey said recent trading had been softer amid poor consumer confidence levels, which are expected to continue in a "particularly challenging" market during 2019.

"Although identifying underlying growth rates over short-term periods is extremely difficult, we note that year-on-year order intake in the second half of the financial year to date has been lower than the first half," he said.