Steady expansion continues
Garden centre chain Dobbies has revealed pre-tax profits of£1.8 million, up 3.6 per cent for the six months to April 30.

Like-for-like sales during the period were down 0.3 per cent.

Group chairman Alex Hammond-Chambers said the trading environment had been 'difficult', with 'weak consumer expenditure and a slow start to the spring season'.

In April, Dobbies opened a 53,000 sq ft (4,925 sq m) store at Cirencester in Gloucestershire and development has begun on an equivalent size store in Milton Keynes. Another three centres are planned to open in the next 18 months.

On a like-for-like basis, sales for the seven weeks to June 18 were up 6.4 per cent.