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Bonmarché warns on profit as Brexit uncertainty impacts trading

Women’s fashion retailer Bonmarché has issued a profit warning after experiencing “extremely poor” sales over the Black Friday period.

FASHION

Bonmarché warns on profit as Brexit uncertainty impacts trading

Women’s fashion retailer Bonmarché has issued a profit warning after experiencing “extremely poor” sales over the Black Friday period.

In its first half results issued last month, the retailer said that sales needed to meet expectations from Black Friday to Christmas if it was to achieve its £5.5 million underlying pre-tax profit forecast for its full year.

However, today the company said that sales during the Black Friday week were extremely poor, particularly in its stores, and that trading had not recovered since Black Friday despite the company offering extensive discounts.

Bonmarché said uncertainty surrounding Brexit has been a significant factor affecting demand. As a result, it is assuming that sales will not show any significant improvement before the end of March 2019 and now estimates that underlying pre-tax profit will be in the range of breakeven to a loss of £4 million for the current financial year.

Helen Connolly, Bonmarché chief executive, said: "The current trading conditions are unprecedented in our experience and are significantly worse even than during the recession of 2008/9. I hope that in the fullness of time, our cut to the forecast may prove to have been overdone, but in the current market, this seems the appropriate stance to adopt.

"I believe that Bonmarché is well prepared to weather the storm, and that we can look forward to some recovery in FY20. Accordingly, the Board remains confident in the strategy, and in the company's long-term prospects."

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