Blacks Leisure posted a 5.4 per cent like-for-like fall in group sales for the 19 weeks to July 12.

However, trading so far this month showed signs that its recovery plan is starting to bear fruit. To date, comparable group store sales have climbed 6.1 per cent for the month, as the peak camping season got under way.

Blacks chief executive Neil Gillis said: “We launched our three-year recovery plan and then fell victim to the retail recession, but there are signs that it is starting to work.

“Summer is a key time for us, but we’re also seeing sales of our premium tents up by about 10 per cent, as consumers ditch plans for foreign holidays and stay in the UK.”

Kaupthing analyst Matthew McEachran said Blacks is performing in line with expectations and cost savings are ahead of plan. He added: “Overall, this is a good statement, but the remainder of the year is key. At this stage, the recovery story remains intact – albeit the headwind is getting stronger.”

Blacks will open five more trial stores next month for its Blacks and Millets fascias in Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle.