Blacks Leisure claims leadership of outdoor market

Blacks Leisure says it has successfully refocused on the outdoor and boardwear market, following the sale of its sports and fashion division to JD Sports last year.

The retailer claims to be market leader, with a 15 per cent share of the outdoor market and 10 per cent share of boardwear.

Preliminary results for the year ended February 28, revealed that operating profit rose 48 per cent to£12.3 million for the outdoor division, comprising Millets, Blacks Outdoor, and Free Spirit. Group pre-tax profit was£14.2 million on sales of£217.9 million.

There are now 246 Millets stores, 66 Blacks shops and 34 Free Spirit outlets.

Last year, Blacks Leisure launched its first mail order service for Millets and transactional Web sites went live for both Millets and Blacks.

The retailer said the Easter period, traditionally the start of the camping and hiking season, started strongly.