The group, dogged by surplus stock and sluggish Christmas sales, brought its New Year clearance Sale forward to December 13. This increased turnover, but had a negative impact on the group's gross margin.
Health club turnover was described as 'buoyant', indicating that the overall shortfall was because of a poor clothing performance.
Like-for like turnover at stores and health clubs for the 23 weeks to January 2 was down 1.1 per cent at units that had been trading for the whole year. Total group turnover for the period fell 2 per cent, and dipped 1.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.