- Sales rose 5.2% in the fourth quarter
- Trading conditions remain challenging
- Consumer confidence fragile
Bonmarché has reported that trading conditions remain “challenging” and that profits will come in at the lower end of expectations.
The womenswear retailer, which issued a profit warning last December, said that sales rose 5.2% in the quarter to March 26.
On a like-for-like basis, including online, revenues inched up 0.5%.
That brought the sales change for the year to the same date to 5.3%, or 1% like-for-like.
She said: “Post-Christmas, trading conditions have continued to be quite challenging, with the exception of January where we saw a higher than average demand for autumn/winter Sale stock.
“Although helpful in clearing these ranges, the continued colder weather has been unhelpful in kick-starting real demand for spring products.
“Overall, consumer confidence does not appear buoyant and, given that context, I believe that the provisional results represent a creditable performance.
“Our financial position continues to remain healthy and our final autumn/winter terminal stock position has ended better than expected, and lower than last year.
“Our expectation is that trading conditions will remain challenging, and therefore our outlook for full-year 2017 result is cautious.”
Butterwick will be replaced as chief executive of Bonmarché by former Asda executive Helen Connolly.