Wakefield-based Bonmarché, the discount fashion retailer aimed at women over 50, said on Tuesday its pre-tax profit fell 45% to £2.3 million in the half-year to September 29 despite revenue edging 0.1% higher to £97.9 million.
Bonmarché CEO Helen Connolly said: “Whilst store trading has been impacted by the general weaker consumer sentiment and footfall seen across the market, we have continued to improve our proposition, particularly our digital capabilities and with a broader, modernised product offer, which is reflected in our strong online performance.
“We remain focussed on exploiting the opportunity afforded by the increasing demand for online shopping, and are encouraged by customers’ responses to new ranges such as denim, leisurewear and resortwear.
“Providing that sales during the key Black Friday through to Christmas trading period meet expectations, the board maintains the guidance published in September, being that the underlying PBT for the group for FY19 will be £5.5m.
“Despite the challenging market, the health and fundamentals of the business remain strongand the board remains confident in the strategy and in Bonmarché’s long-term prospects.
“Accordingly, the board has declared an interim dividend of 2.5p per ordinary share, in line with last year’s interim dividend.
“The board’s intention at this time is that the total dividend in respect of FY19 will be maintained at 7.75 pence per share, in line with FY18.“