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Bonmarché turnaround boosts sales

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Value womenswear retailer Bonmarché has posted profits and sales rises for the first half of the year, indicating that its turnaround strategy is starting to bear fruit.

Underlying profit before tax soared to £4.2m in the 26 weeks to 30 September, up 70.3% from £2.5m in the previous year.

Total revenue grew by 5% to £97.8m. Combined like-for-like sales climbed 4.3%, with online sales surging by 38.6%. Stores sales meanwhile inched up 1.6%.

The retailer said product gross margin remained static on the same period last year. Net cash stood at £14.9m at the half-year end, compared with £9.8m last year.

Chief executive Helen Connolly said: “We are only at the beginning of the journey in some areas of our strategy and there is a strong plan to support future growth. I do not expect the clothing market to become any less challenging in the near future, and therefore remain focussed on continuing to grow by profitably gaining market share.”

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