Blacks Leisure, the outdoor clothing and equipment specialist, has warned that operating profits will not meet market expectations because of its underperforming boardwear division.

The retailer posted a 3.9 per cent like-for-like sales fall in the six weeks to January 3. Like-for-likes fell 1.3 per cent at Blacks’ outdoor arm – comprising eponymous and Millets stores – but slid 14.9 per cent at the boardwear division.

The retailer is in the midst of scaling back its boardwear operations. It recently transferred control of its O’Neill wholesale business and is converting 10 FreeSpirit shops to its outdoor fascias.

In the 18 weeks to January 3, Blacks like-for-likes also fell 3.9 per cent – down 0.5 per cent at the outdoor business and 19.2 per cent at boardwear.