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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 08:46 GMT
Green slams poor Bhs performance
Philip Green

Billionaire retailer Philip Green has warned that his Bhs department stores face a slide in profits because of the "poor" products on the shelves.

In a series of candid comments, Mr Green said Bhs was failing to offer its customers the products they wanted.

"Some of the merchandise isn't right and the market is very tough," he told BBC Five Live.

"When you haven't got the merchandise right... customers don't want to buy it or want to buy it cheaper," he said.

'Off the boil'

Mr Green, who also owns the Arcadia chain of stores which includes Top Shop and Dorothy Perkins, said he planned to focus more of his time on improving the performance of Bhs.

"I know what is wrong and we will trade out of where we are," he told the Financial Times newspaper.

"Sales are down, product is off the boil and I am happy to fix it," he said. "I have not been engaging with Bhs. I have been distracted when the market is a lot more tough."

Mr Green said underlying sales at Bhs were down between 7% and 8% since September. He said he expected operating profit to come in at between 75m and 85m, down from 105m ($182m) last year.

However, he told the BBC that Bhs was not trading "any better or worse than anybody else is".

Mr Green last month paid himself a 1.2bn dividend from Arcadia, after the privately-held group reported a rise in profits to 252.8m from 246.3m last year.

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