Outdoor clothing and equipment specialist Blacks Leisure has extended its borrowing facilities and aims to refinance following a sales fall.

The retailer reported a 9.7% slide in like-for-like sales, excluding VAT, in the 19 weeks to July 9. Total sales slid to £54.6m from £61.3m in the comparable period last year.

Blacks said that gross margins had been maintained and that the like-for-like trend had improved towards the end of the period. In the six weeks since the end of May like-for-likes rose 3.2% year-on-year.

But Blacks said that since the year-end its indebtedness had increased “significantly” because of tough trading conditions as well as “normal seasonal factors”

The retailer has agreed with lender Bank of Scotland an extension of borrowing, providing access to up to £40m until December 15 when the facility will revert to £35m along with a seasonal peak facility of £3m.

Blacks said: “In view of the maturity of its existing facilities in November 2012, the board will seek to refinance its existing banking facilities in such time to ensure that the group has appropriate arrangements in place for its future requirements.

“The board is also considering the group’s overall capital requirements with a view to strengthening its capital structure and providing a platform to support the group’s plans for development and growth.”

New chief executive Julia Reynolds will take up her post on August 1.