UK like-for-likes drop 7%
Monsoon has reported falling profits and like-for-like sales for the six months to November 25.

The fashion retailer's underlying sales slumped 6 per cent on pre-tax profits down 5 per cent to£24.2 million over the period. Total sales increased 17 per cent, largely driven by store openings.

Monsoon chairman Peter Simon said: 'It has been a difficult six months, with like-for-like sales declining both in the UK and overseas.'

Comparable sales at the retailer's UK and Ireland division fell 7 per cent, on operating profits down 11 per cent to£17.5 million.

At Monsoon's overseas stores, like-for-likes in local currency slipped 3 per cent, with comparable sales in sterling down 5 per cent. However, international total sales shot up 33 per cent to£34.5 million as a result of store openings.

In the UK and overseas, Monsoon's sales continued to tumble over the Christmas trading period. Since its half-year end on November 25, Monsoon's like-for-likes are down 8 per cent, but on much lower stock levels. 'A small winter Sale will help to improve profit margins,' said Simon.

At present, Monsoon is recruiting for a chief executive to replace Rose Foster and a finance director to succeed Mark McMenemy, after both resigned last year. Foster, who moves to head lingerie chain La Senza, and McMenemy, whose next role is not known, will leave Monsoon in the next few months.