Peacock Group chief executive Richard Kirk said the group is expected to report a return to form in the year to March 2010 with EBITDA of £80m.

In figures filed at Companies House, the Peacock Group - made up of value fashion chain Peacocks and mature womenswear retailer Bonmarché - EBITDA dropped to £64m in the year to March 28, 2009, down from £73.6m the year before.

Kirk said the year was affected by the economic gloom and a poor summer. He said negative like-for-like growth in the first half led to discounting to clear stock.

However, Kirk said the group had “never felt more confident”, with Peacocks and Bonmarché benefiting from designer collaborations.

Bonmarché recorded a 3.8% fall in total sales to £188.7m during the year to March 28, 2009, and a 5.8% like-for-like sales drop. However, despite a £8m to £9m slump in EBITDA at Bonmarché , Kirk said it had clawed back the drop in the current year.

At Peacocks sales increased 5.2% in the year to March 2009, and like-for-likes dipped 3%. Kirk said EBITDA rose £3m to £4m in the 2008/2009 year and expected Peacocks to record a 30% increase in EBITDA in the current year to about £70m. He added that Peacocks recorded a 8% like-for-like rise in the eight weeks to January 2.