• Fashion retailer warns over profits after poor trading in September 
  • “Considerable uncertainty” on market conditions going into second half
  • Profits now likely to be between £5m and £7m

Bonmarché has lowered its full-year profits forecast after an “extremely poor” September and ongoing uncertainty over market conditions. 

The plus-size fashion specialist, whose new boss Helen Connolly took over last month, said September trading had been hit by the “unseasonably hot weather”, which affected sales of its autumn ranges.

It is the retailer’s second profit warning in the space of a year after an alert before Christmas last year. 

Bonmarché said September’s hot weather has meant strong sales of “residual summer stock”.

But it warned its second quarter and first-half like-for-likes will fall about 8%. In June it reported a drop in earnings in its last full year.

Looking ahead Bonmarché said it faces “considerable uncertainty as to market conditions” and full-year profits are now likely to be between £5m and £7m.

Connolly, who joined from Asda, said: “The direction of travel is right, but the effectiveness of execution needs to improve.”

She is currently drawing up her plans for the business, but said these are “likely to focus on improving the clarity of the customer proposition and operational improvements in all channels rather than a major strategic repositioning”.

She added: “I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Bonmarché colleagues, and am confident that despite the difficult conditions we are currently experiencing, the business will resume growth during FY18.”

Connolly said will give a “more comprehensive” update on her plans at a later date.