Warning comes days after Tesco deal

Dobbies Garden Centres has issued a profit warning just days after Tesco’s£156 million takeover offer was accepted by the majority of shareholders.

Poor weather has made it unlikely that the retailer will meet its sales targets for the year to October 31. Dobbies’ pre-tax profits had been expected to reach£6.2 million.

Like-for-like sales growth remained slightly positive at 0.5 per cent and the Dobbies said in its trading statement that it believes profits will be higher than last year.

Scottish billionaire Tom Hunter last week raised his stake in the business to almost 29 per cent, which city analysts have suggested may be a “thorn in Tesco’s side” and which may make it very difficult for Tesco to delist the company’s group shares.