Furniture retailer ScS has warned that a downturn in trading means it cannot be confident it will hit expectations for the full year.

ScS executive chairman Mike Browne warned that a recent downward trend in sales orders will have a “significant adverse impact” on sales and the results for the half year to 26 January, 2008.

Total sales order intake was down 9 per cent for the first 17 weeks of this financial year and like-for-like sales order intake was down 16 per cent in the same period, with performance worsening markedly in the latter weeks.

Browne said: "Since we last updated the market in September 2007, trading conditions have been much more challenging than anticipated.

He added: “Not only are we up against strong comparables for this period, but the previous interest rate increases continue to affect consumers. When combined with the high-profile collapse in the sub-prime debt markets and the resultant credit squeeze, we believe that consumer confidence has been severely hit with regard to big ticket purchases.”

ScS will revert to a more aggressive ad campaign for the crucial Boxing Day and January Sale periods.

It will hold its AGM at midday today.