Bonmarché has issued a profit warning for the second quarter of this year, blaming ”extremely poor” trading so far in September.
The womenswear retailer said it expected like-for-like store sales to be down by 8% and like-for-like sales for the first half of the year to dip by the same amount, pointing to an unseasonably warm September and a challenging womenswear market.
Full-year profit before tax is expected to fall to between £5m and £7m. Bonmarché posted £9.6m in pre-tax profits for the 52 weeks to 26 March and the market consensus for this year’s profit before tax was previously £11.8m.
The value retailer said hot weather in September had prevented it from gaining a ”representative measure” of the strength of its autumn ranges and trading had become more difficult on the high street.
New chief executive Helen Connolly, who joined in August and was previously a senior buying director for George at Asda, said she is planning for the future: “The direction of travel is right, but the effectiveness of execution needs to improve. My plans are therefore likely to focus on improving the clarity of the customer proposition and operational improvements in all channels, rather than a major strategic repositioning.
“I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Bonmarché colleagues, and am confident that despite the difficult conditions we are currently experiencing, the business will resume growth during the 2018 financial year.”