Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Blacks considers surfwear sale

Blacks backpack
Sales of outdoor gear picked up in September and October.

Blacks Leisure is considering selling its surf and snowboarding gear business to help counter mounting losses.

The outdoor clothing firm made a loss before tax of 6.7m in the 26 weeks to the end of August, compared with a 3m loss in the same period a year ago.

Chief executive Neil Gillis said he was considering all options to strengthen the business, including selling its 53 O'Neill and Free Spirit stores.

Sales in outdoor stores open at least a year fell 5.2% in the period.

However, the firm said business improved in September and October, with October outdoor like-for-like sales up 4.5%.

The firm's outdoor business includes 260 Millets stores and 110 Blacks Outdoor stores.

Surf and snow wear sales remained depressed, falling 16.1% for the 26-week period.

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