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Bonmarche a surprise winner as heatwave boosts sales

The online business drove the first quarter improvement with a 27% rise
Doing OK in tough markets

Budget clothing group Bonmarche PLC (LON:BON) proved one of the winners in this retail season as the warm weather gave sales a lift and as it committed to its dividend.   

Against what the group said was a strong comparative period, total sales rose by 2.7% in the quarter to June with a like-for-like improvement of 1.5%.

Online drove the improvement with a 27% rise, while the stores saw a 1.2% decline like-for-like. Bommarche also gave itself more wriggle room to pay a dividend as it lowered the earnings cover target.

Progressive dividend policy

The intention is to maintain a progressive dividend policy, the retailer added.

Helen Connolly, chief executive, said: "The improved sales performance during the first quarter, achieved in a clothing market which, whilst helped to some extent by more seasonal weather, remains challenging, underpins our confidence in the strategy.

Expectations for the full year remain unchanged, she added.

Shares rose 7% to 118p.

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Bonmarché Holdings plc Timeline

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