Bonmarché has posted a spike in half-year profits and sales as boss Helen Connolly’s turnaround efforts began to bear fruit.

The value womenswear chain said pre-tax profit more than doubled to £4.2m in the 26 weeks to September 30, compared with £2m the previous year.

On an underlying basis, pre-tax profit was up 70.3% to £4.2m.

Like-for-like sales advanced 4.3% across the group, as same-store sales climbed 1.6% and online revenues surged 38.6%.

Bonmarché’s total sales increased 5% to £97.8m during the period as it hailed market share growth despite “a difficult trading environment”.

The fashion retailer said the results were driven by progress in five strategic areas – product, online, loyalty, stores, and systems and processes.

As part of the push to revamp its product offer, Bonmarché relaunched its denim ranges during the half-year, while it hailed a “successful” launch of in-store ordering as it bids to become “a true multichannel retailer”.

Connolly, the former George at Asda senior buying director who took the reins at Bonmarché in August last year, said she was “satisfied” with progress during the first half.

But she added: “We are only at the beginning of the journey in some areas of our strategy and there is a strong plan to support future growth.

“I do not expect the clothing market to become any less challenging in the near future, and therefore remain focused on continuing to grow by profitably gaining market share.”