Analysts hopeful that even Bonmarché can reverse its like-for-like sales decline
Analysts are expecting a positive result from Peacocks fourth-quarter report, which is due to be released by Wednesday. In its previous trading statement, the retailer said like-for-like sales had decreased by 8.5 per cent at Bonmarché in the third quarter.

Analysts expect tomorrow's report to show strong results for the retailer's Peacocks fascia and Fragrance Shop divisions, as well as a small improvement at Bonmarché.

Shore Capital analyst John Stevenson said: 'For Bonmarché, the sales update is likely to be less impressive. Certainly we anticipate an improvement on Q3 like-for-like sales declines. Nonetheless, we expect January and early March, in particular, to have proved particularly challenging. As a consequence, we do not expect a clear, unambiguous evidence of a turnaround at Bonmarché.'

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner agreed that the quarter had been very poor for retailers and that the group had done well to buck the trend.

He said: 'We see a pick up in Bonmarché. Overall, performance has been good compared with some of the retailers in the fashion sector. The bottom end has done quite well, as have the aspirational retailers such as Monsoon. It's the big space retailers that have been squeezed.'

Both analysts expected Peacocks end-of-year pre-tax profits to be about£38 million.