Jacques Vert has swung to a loss-before-tax of £2.9 million for the year to April 25, down from a £4.3m profit last year, after incurring exceptional charges.
Retail sales dropped 3.5% to £110.9m for the year, a 4.7% drop on a like-for-like basis which Jacques Vert said was a continuation of an improving trend seen since the first half of the year, and a result of stronger ranges from its Jacques Vert, Planet and Precis Petite brands.
Jacques Vert’s operating losses after exceptional items were £2.6m. The group’s exceptional item charges were £3.8m for coming out of onerous leases and a £1m cost of restructuring.
Gross margin dropped from 63% to 61.5% over the period, hit by discounting.
In the ten weeks since April 25, like-for-like retail sales were down 3.4% on the previous year, and flat on an overall basis.
Chief executive Paul Allen said: “The year has without doubt included some of the most volatile trading conditions seen for some considerable period. We highlighted at the time of our interim announcement the very difficult market, which we expected to continue for some time. I am pleased to report the market has returned to slightly more settled conditions since then, although we note that consumer confidence is fragile and the retail environment remains challenging.”