Boardwear offsets outdoor retailer?s trading
Blacks Leisure achieved good trading in outdoor and boardwear clothing over Christmas, although weak trading in some branches offset the good results.

The group recorded like-for-like sales growth of 6.2 per cent in the eight weeks to January 15. Total retail sales increased by 14.2 per cent over the period.

However, one of the group's more high profile chains, surf and snowboard brand O'Neill, recorded poor trading over the period.

Blacks group chief executive Russell Hardy said: 'Stock clearance activity, particularly in boardwear, and weak trading at O'Neill have led to the reduction in margin for the half year to date. We remain confident of a good result for the year overall.'

In the 20 weeks to January 15, Blacks' like-for like sales were up 9.4 per cent, with total retail sales up 16.4 per cent. However, gross margins were down 1 per cent on the same period the previous year.