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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 16:48 GMT
Peacock sinks on profit warning
Peacocks store
Despite Peacocks stores doing well, problems at Bonmarche hit profits
Shares in budget retailer Peacock have dived 10.5% after "disappointing" sales at the firm's Bonmarche stores forced it to issue a profit warning.

Poor sales in Bonmarche shops - which sell clothes aimed at women aged above 45 - meant it was cutting its profit target by 4m ($7.5m), the firm said.

In contrast, budget clothing retailer Matalan said it had continued its recent sales revival over Christmas.

Like-for-like sales climbed 5.3% over the festive period, Matalan said.

Falling short

Trading in Bonmarche was very disappointing compared to our expectations
Richard Kirk, Peacock Group chief executive

The Peacock Group said its 425-strong chain of Peacocks stores had achieved "excellent" sales growth in a "challenging trading environment for clothing".

Like-for-like sales at the stores were up 9.5% over the 13 weeks to 1 January.

However, like-for-like sales at the firm's 343 Bonmarche outlets - which sell clothes aimed at women aged 45 and above - fell 8.5% over the same period.

Chief executive Richard Kirk admitted "trading in Bonmarche was very disappointing compared to our expectations".

As a result, he said the board "has thought it prudent to reduce internal profit forecasts by 4m for the full year".

Like-for-like sales for the Peacock Group as a whole were up 3.4%, against 4.8% a year ago.

Shares in the Peacock Group closed down 28.5p at 209p.

Recovery

Matalan's growth compares with an 8.2% fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas the year before.

The company said it had managed to raise profit margins as markdown levels were lower, and that it was "comfortable" with analysts' forecasts for the group.

"We set out this year to return Matalan to like-for-like sales growth and to build a platform for the business to grow in the future," said chief executive John King.

"These figures show the business is responding to those efforts."




SEE ALSO:
Takeover rumour bolsters Matalan
07 Sep 04 |  Business
Sales slump hits Matalan profits
05 May 04 |  Business


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