Group sales are up and even Bonmarché sees a lift in the fourth quarter
Peacock Group appears to have started a turnaround at its ailing Bonmarché chain, leading to a rise in group turnover and like-for-like sales for the year.

The fashion-to-fragrances retailer increased total sales by 11.9 per cent for the year to April 2 compared with the year before. Like-for-like sales increased by 3.6 per cent and like-for-like gross profit increased by 5.9 per cent.

Sales were boosted by the unusually early Easter this year, which pushed back the retailer's mid-season Sales into the next financial year.

The retailer's Peacocks and Fragrance Shop chains both performed well, with like-for-like sales increases of 9.3 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively. The troubled Bonmarché chain fared less well, with like-for-likes falling 7.1 per cent. However, the womenswear chain managed to scrape back an increase in like-for-like gross profit of 0.7 per cent in the last quarter.

The retailer said: 'Bonmarché's trading remains unsatisfactory, although we are seeing some improvement as our new classic and improved contemporary ranges are introduced, with an improving trend over the quarter. It is far too early to assess whether these initiatives will lead to a sustained recovery in performance. However, the strengthened management team is beginning to have an impact on better aligning the offer with today's market trends.'