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Bonmarche profit in line with expectations but Beast knocks sales

Like-for like sales through the UK value womenswear chain's stores fell 11.1% in the three months to March
Online sales grew 31%

Bonmarche Holdings PLC (LON:BON) reported ‘disappointing’ sales in its fourth quarter but said financial year 2018 profits will be in line with expectations.

Retailers have been hit hard by the ‘Beast from the East’, with the cold snap affecting footfall across the UK for many chains and Helen Connolly, chief executive, said it had suffered as well.

Like-for like sales through the UK value womenswear chain's stores fell 11.1% in the three months to March, a much faster rate of decline than the preceding quarters.

Online sales were better with a 31% rise in the fourth quarter, which reduced the like-for-like decline for the period to 7.4% overall.

Annual sales fell by 1.5% on a similar LFL basis.

READ: Bonmarche shares drop after the value womenswear retailer reports sharp fall in third-quarter same-store sales.

Gross margin was also lower but 'resilient' due to tight stock control and improvements to the loyalty scheme, which led to lower discounting.

Connolly described the backdrop as challenging and said more self-help measures are planned for this year.

In morning trading, company’s shares fell 0.5% to 90.0p.


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