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Bonmarché reports profit fall

Women’s fashion retailer Bonmarché has reported a drop in annual profit after experiencing "challenging" market conditions.

FASHION

Bonmarché reports profit fall

In the 53 weeks to 1 April 2017, pre-tax profit declined by 39.4% to £5.8 million which was in line with expectations. Underlying pre-tax profit fell by 40.6% to £6.3 million.

Total sales decreased by 0.5% to £228.1 million compared to the corresponding period in the previous year with like-for-like store sales falling by 4.3%. Online sales grew by 2.2%.

Helen Connolly, chief executive of Bonmarché, said: "A combination of internal and external factors over the past year prevented us from improving at the rate we had aimed for. However, we believe that the business is now well positioned, with a compelling proposition and robust plan.

"As outlined previously, it is clear that the direction of travel is broadly right, albeit the effectiveness of execution needs to improve.”

Despite the results, Bonmarché said it remains “well placed” to serve the 50 plus women's value clothing market.

The company is aiming to improve performance by modernising the store experience and product range, unlocking the potential of its Bonus Club loyalty scheme, and driving online sales through a renewed retail focus.

Bonmarché said trading since the beginning of the new financial year has been in line with expectations.

John Coleman, Bonmarché chairman added: “We believe that the challenging market conditions are likely to continue but, as noted above, we are confident in our strategy and remain focused on executing it successfully.

“We believe that the 50 plus market continues to be under-served and this, combined with the forecast increase in the number of people who are potential customers for Bonmarché, positions us well for future growth. We therefore aim to meet our overriding objective of growing profitable sales by gaining market share.”

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