Fragrances retailer comes up smelling of roses, but still concerned over Christmas trading
Perfume Shop parent Merchant Retail Group has turned in healthy interim figures for the first half of the financial year. The results were helped by an increase in like-for-like sales at the retailer's fragrances arm and the selling of a number of department stores.

The group reported a 12 per cent rise in sales during the 26 weeks ended September 25 to£57.7 million, compared with the previous year. Pre-tax profits after exceptionals for the period increased by 15 per cent to£3.62 million.

Like-for-like sales at The Perfume Shop rose 7 per cent. The retailer opened 8 stores during the period and plans to open another 5 before Christmas, bringing the total to 111 outlets. Merchant also sold department stores at Leamington Spa in Warwickshire and Hexham in Teesside for the combined sum of£21 million.

Merchant Retail said it was pleased at the result, but that much depended on the seasonal trade in the coming weeks. It said: 'This has been the most challenging of starts to the year and there remains much to be achieved. It goes without saying that the outcome of the full year is heavily dependent on a successful trading period and this applies more so this year than ever.'

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