Half-year to fall below 2005
Outdoor clothing and equipment group Blacks has issued a profit warning as it announced a like-for-like sales fall of 1 per cent for the first 20 weeks of this financial year.

In an AGM statement today, the company warned that it now expects profits for the half-year to be below last year's levels. Total sales for the period to July 15 were up 2.6 per cent.

The retailer blamed the World Cup, continued dry weather and the lack of a Glastonbury Festival this year for the 'disappointing' sales.

However, an improvement is expected during the crucial camping and hiking season this summer. A roll-out of exclusive products and improvements in distribution are also expected to contribute to a better performance in the second-half.

The group comprises outdoor specialists Millets and Blacks, as well as boardwear chains Freespirit and O'Neill.