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Blacks Leisure issues profit warning

Like-for-like sales at Blacks Leisure dropped 3.9% for the six weeks to January 3, as the group’s boardsports division performance dived.

Blacks Leisure said that the boardsports division was diluting overall group performance and that as a result operating profits would be below market expectations.

Blacks Leisure’s outdoor division, which includes the Blacks and Millets chains, saw like-for-like sales down just 1.3% over the period, while its Freespirit and O’Neill stores saw like-for-like sales drop 14.9%.

Over the 18 weeks to January 3, outdoor like-for-likes were down by just 0.5%. However, at the boardsports division, which includes the Freespirit and O’Neills stores, like-for-like sales crashed 19.2%.

Blacks said it will convert 10 Freespirit stores into outdoor stores this financial year as part of plans to reduce the impact of the boardwear business on the group’s overall performance.

Blacks Leisure ended its wholesale agreement with O’Neill last month.

Millets has 258 stores and Blacks has 110. There are 41 Freespirit shops and 12 O’Neill shops.

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