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Surf is slow for Blacks Leisure

Poor sales at Blacks Leisure’s boardsports division hit the group’s overall performance, as like-for-like sales fell 5.4% for the 19 weeks to July 12.

Like-for-likes at the group’s Freespirit and O’Neill chains plummeted 15.5%. At outdoor chains Blacks and Millets, like-for-likes were down 2.2%, against strong comparatives.

However, the peak camping season has seen like-for-like sales up 6.1% for the whole group.

Chief executive Neil Gillis said: “The boardsports division is more susceptible to a downturn than the outdoor chains as it’s branded and fashion product, but it accounts for less than 10% of total sales.

“I want to ride out the downturn and push boardsports when the economic climate is better.”

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