Bonmarché shares fall after warning of heavier loss | Business

Shares in Bonmarché have fallen after the women’s fashion chain warned of a bigger full-year loss than previously forecast and reported quarterly sales below its expectations after discounting heavily to clear unsold stock.

As Brexit approaches, consumer spending is drying up, forcing retailers to sacrifice profits for sales. Bonmarché said on Tuesday it expected an underlying pre-tax loss for the year of between £5m and £6m. Its shares closed down 20% at 29.5p.

The company warned in December it could report losses of up to £4m this year and said trading conditions were worse than during the recession a decade ago. On the day of that announcement, its shares fell 40%.

“We believe that the recent downturn in trading is a consequence of the demand for transitional ranges, between winter and spring, having been satisfied during January and February,” the company said.

Bonmarché, which mainly sells blouses, shirts, jeans and skirts at affordable prices to women aged over 50, said its spring collection had benefited from a spell of warm weather in February.

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