Bonmarche bolsters revenues but warns over warm autumn

Joseph Millis
RETAILER Bonmarche yesterday announced a 11.8 per cent rise in half-year profits, but said it suffered from one of the warmest autumns on record as shoppers shunned its coats and jumpers.

Chief executive Beth Butterwick said that in the six months to 30 September, Bonmarche recorded sales of £91.1m. However, she warned that the latter part of the half suffered, with sales also taking a hit in the last two months.

Butterwick said: “These conditions have continued into the second half. However, on the basis that the weather returns to its normal seasonal pattern, [we expect] the current year’s performance to be in line with its original expectations.”

The retailer, which specialises in plus-sized clothing, also boosted pre-tax profits for the period by 68 per cent to £6.4m, thanks in part to improved clothes and removing pricing uncertainty by selling more items at a lower full price, rather than using heavy discounting.

Bonmarche, which has refitted 11 stores and plans a further 40 this year, has been one of the more suc­ces­sful companies to list in the past year and has seen its shares jump 34 per cent since joining last November.

Investors, however, did not warm to the results and shares closed down 0.93 per cent yesterday at 267p.

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