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Profits rise as Bonmarché shows promise of turnaround

Value womenswear retailer Bonmarché has announced a 38.1% jump in profit before tax, to £8m, for the full year to 31 March 2018, as online sales fuel promise of a turnaround.

The rise was attributed to a tight control of gross margin and costs, as well as an increase in online sales, which rose by 34.5% and now make up 9.5% of total sales. But in-store sales fell by 4.5%.

Total revenue for the period was slightly down, at £186m compared to £190.1m for the full year 2017.

Chief executive of Bonmarché, Helen Connolly, said: “Against the backdrop of challenging trading conditions, I am pleased that we have delivered an increase in profit before tax compared to last year.

“We have made good progress in all areas, particularly online, where we have seen strong growth, whilst also making improvements through a number of other self-help initiatives including the product proposition, the loyalty scheme, and developing a more agile supply base.

“Whilst we expect the market to remain difficult, trading since the beginning of the new financial year has been stronger than during the second half of 2018, and is in line with the board’s expectations. We have a clear strategy in place to continue to improve our proposition, which we expect to do during 2019 and beyond.”

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