Bonmarché profit rises 66 per cent

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WOMEN’S clothing retailer Bonmarché has seen pre-tax profit rise by 66 per cent following the launch of a new growth strategy.

The Wakefield-based business, which floated on AIM at the end of last year, said pre-tax profit rose to £8m, while revenue was up 11.9 per cent at £164.3m for the year ended March 29, 2014.

It said market share of the women’s value sector increased by 14 per cent from 2.8 per cent to 3.2 per cent, like-for-like store sales increased 10.4 per cent year-on-year and multi-channel sales have grown by 84 per cent during the financial year.

Bonmarché, which caters for the over 50s market, said it has been “very encouraged” by the initial sales results of two concessions within garden centres and has now started rolling out a significant programme.

Beth Butterwick, chief executive officer of Bonmarché, said: “I am pleased with the strong financial performance in the period since the IPO. FY14 was the first full year of implementing our new business plan and we have made good progress in each of our key strategic areas: product, multi-channel, stores and our service proposition.

“We are confident that the successful execution of our forward growth strategy, combined with our established position as one of the largest pure-play value retailers dedicated to women over 50, will enable us to continue building on our appeal and accessibility to these customers and, in turn, deliver value for our shareholders.

“We are encouraged by our start to the current financial year and the board remains positive about the outlook for the coming year. There is still much to deliver against our strategy set out in 2012, and I look forward to working with the board and colleagues on what will be another exciting year.”

The board has recommended a final dividend of 2.1p per share.