Womenswear retailer sees profits fall
Womenswear retailer Bonmarche has reported a slump in full year profits as a combination of Brexit pressures and unseasonal weather contributed to a "challenging" retail market.
The group said that pre-tax profits tumbled 39.4 per cent to £5.8m in the year to April, with like for like sales falling 4.3 per cent.
It has stores in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal and Workington.
The company said: "The apparel market has been in decline, with demand affected by consumers' response to factors such as inflation, the referendum on Brexit, and unseasonal weather patterns, which, as we have noted in the past, significantly influence our customers' shopping habits."
The collapse in the value of the pound following the decision to quit the European Union has hammered British businesses and consumers, ramping up import costs and, as a result, shop prices.
Total revenue at Bonmarche nudged up one per cent to £190.1m and chief executive Helen Connolly, who took up her role last year, said the business is now "well positioned" for growth.
She said: "A combination of internal and external factors over the past year prevented us from improving at the rate we had aimed for.
"However, we believe that the business is now well positioned, with a compelling proposition and robust plan.
"It is clear that the direction of travel is broadly right, albeit the effectiveness of execution needs to improve. Our update today provides further detail on the areas where we see the greatest opportunities and how we are already beginning to address these."