[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 10:23 GMT
Matalan profits hit by sales drop
Matalan store
Matalan has been cutting costs and jobs
Discount retailer Matalan has become the latest victim of the UK's High Street slowdown, unveiling a slump in sales and profits.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to August 27 fell to 30.7m from 42.5m at the same point last year.

The retailer also said like-for-like sales at its 190 stores sank by 6.7%.

Matalan warned the tough times would go on, with sales in the past nine weeks down 10.6% after the recent warm spell hit demand for winter clothing.

The same nine-week period last year had resulted in the strongest growth of the year for the retailer, which stocks a variety of goods including clothing, house wares and luggage.

"Trading conditions continue to be difficult and there is little evidence to suggest this will improve in the near term," chairman John Hargreaves said in a statement.

However, the Lancashire-based firm said that a 5.1m cost-cutting drive it began at the start of the year - which included 300 job cuts - would improve profits by saving 15m a year.




SEE ALSO:
Matalan upbeat despite sales fall
31 Aug 05 |  Business
Matalan confirms 300 redundancies
19 Aug 05 |  Lancashire
Matalan woes persist as sales dip
07 Jul 05 |  Business
Matalan cuts jobs in costs drive
12 Jun 05 |  Business
Matalan woos cautious shoppers
04 May 05 |  Business
Matalan slowdown after 2004 surge
04 May 05 |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific