Clothing retailers Bonmarché have claimed a slump in profits is a result of Brexit and unseasonal weather, which have both contributed to a “challenging” retail market.
The Grange Moor-based group, which has a store at New Street in Huddersfield and focuses on clothing for women aged 50-plus, saw pre-tax profits fall by 39.4% to £5.8m in the year to April. Like-for-like sales fell by 4.3%, although total revenues were up 1% at £190.1m.
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 (in the first half of the year), which, as we have noted in the past, significantly influence our customers’ shopping habits.”
Chief executive Helen Connolly, who took up her role last year, 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.”