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Blacks reports strong December sales

Blacks Leisure, the outdoor specialist, said like-for-like sales rose 10.2% in December.

Total sales in the month jumped 12.9%. The 10.2% like-for-like rise was against a strong set of comparatives from the same period last year, when like-for-likes were up 14.9%.

The strong performance over the winter period helped Blacks to deliver a 1.2% like-for-like increase for the half year ending December 30, with total group like-for-likes decreasing by 0.1%.

Total group sales in the same six month period were £85.4m compared to £95.8m in the previous half year. The reduction is largely due to store closures carried out as part of Blacks restructuring programme.

The outdoor specialist confirmed that it remained in discussion with “a number of parties who have put in indicative offers for the whole and/or parts of the business”. It said the process was ongoing.

Blacks chief executive Neil Gillis said: “The group has performed strongly during the key Christmas trading period highlighting the strength of our offering in what continues to be a challenging retail market. 

“The turnaround programme remains on track and we enter the new year in a positive financial position and focussed on continuing to deliver the benefits of the turnaround strategy.”

Gillis also revealed Blacks would open a new store in February with further new store openings in the pipeline in the next financial year.

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