Half-year results reflect tough climate
Value fashion and homewares retailer Matalan today revealed that it has not escaped the sector downturn, with like-for-like sales down by 6.3 per cent for the 26 weeks to August 27.

Pre-tax profit fell to£30.7 million against£42.5 million for the comparable period. Current trading at Matalan is also bleak, with total like-for-like sales down by 10.6 per cent for the nine weeks to October 29.

Matalan chief executive John King (pictured) was pessimistic about future trading. He said: 'Trading conditions continue to be difficult and there is little evidence to suggest that this will improve in the near term.'

The retailer has undergone a number of changes recently, including a major cost-cutting programme earlier this year and the appointment of several non-executive directors.

It is hoped that the recent appointment of Geraldine Higgins from Bhs to spearhead womenswear will revitalise the retailer's prospects.