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Bonmarché shares jump on better-than-feared store sales in third quarter and good start to winter sales

"Looking forward, the board remains confident in Bonmarché's prospects and strategy and we will continue to drive the implementation of our previously outlined plans, maintaining a particularly strong emphasis on increasing multi-channel sales," said boss Helen Connolly
Bonmarche
Shares shot up more than 12% in morning trading

Bonmarché Holdings plc (LON:BON) shares jumped as it said third-quarter store sales were slightly better than feared and its winter sale had started well.

The women’s fashion retailer reported an 11.1% drop in like-for-like store sales for the third quarter ended December 29.

An improvement in footfall towards the end of December meant the decline was better than the 12% like-for-like decrease the group said it expected in a trading update last month.

READ: Bonmarche says trading conditions worse than financial crisis as it issues fresh profit warning

Online sales surged 22.2% in the quarter, though it marked a slowdown on the 28.9% growth delivered in the first half.  

Total like-for-like sales fell 7.8%, compared to a 1% decline in the first half.

The company said it continues to trade in line with the guidance provided last month when it issued its second profit warning in three months.

In last month’s trading update, the group said current trading conditions were “significantly worse” than the financial crisis and underlying pre-tax profit  was expected in the range of breakeven to a loss of £4.0mln.

Bonmarche said on Friday that its cash reserves are expected to be “adequate” to meet its liquidity requirements, even at the lowest end of its profit guidance range.

Chief executive Helen Connolly said: "Clearly, in the short time since our last update, macro market conditions have not changed, but I am pleased that the sale stock is clearing well and that trading is in line with our revised expectations.

“In the short term, we continue to focus on ending the year with a clean stock position and ensuring that our balance sheet remains healthy.

"Looking forward, the board remains confident in Bonmarché's prospects and strategy and we will continue to drive the implementation of our previously outlined plans, maintaining a particularly strong emphasis on increasing multi-channel sales."

Shares rose 12.7% to 41.7p in morning trading.

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