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GENERAL MERCHANDISE

In the 26 weeks to 26 September, store like-for-like sales growth was 2% which included like-for-like growth of 6.1% in the second quarter.

Pre-tax profit was £5.4 million compared £6.4 million in the same period last year. Pre-exceptional profit before tax was £6.4 million.

Beth Butterwick, chief executive of Bonmarché, said: "Bonmarché's performance for the first half of the year has been satisfactory and we have made further progress against our strategic objectives. I am pleased with the improvement in store like-for-like sales, which is a testament to the value of our loyal customer base, in a market which remains challenging. I am also pleased with the progress being made by the new marketing and multi-channel teams to turn around online sales.”

During the period, Bonmarché opened 11 new stores and concessions and closed three. It has also embarked on a programme to modernise store fascias with 140 to be refreshed with new branding by the year-end.

Meanwhile, online sales grew by 4.2% in the period.

Butterwick continued: “Trading conditions during November have been challenging, due to very mild, wet weather. Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged, provided that trading conditions normalise for the remainder of the financial year."

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