StockMarketWire.com - Bonmarche cut its profit guidance Thursday, on signs sales in the crucial festive shopping period would fall short of expectations as the gloomy backdrop on the UK high street continued.

Bonmarche also indicated it would consider scrapping or cutting its dividend, saying it would review its 'stance in relation to the final dividend, when there is greater clarity about the full year's result, and the outlook for the clothing market during 2020.'

The retailer expected underlying profit before tax in the range of breakeven to a loss of £4.0m for the current financial year.

That was below the £5.5m profit before tax forecast as the company reined in sales expectations for the festive period after sales during the Black Friday were 'extremely poor.'

Extensive discounts to boost sales since Black Friday have done little to spark a recovery in sales, the retailer added.

'We have concluded that sales will not recover to normal levels in the short term, and that it is appropriate to make a further revision to the forecast,' Bonmarche said.

'The current trading conditions are unprecedented in our experience and are significantly worse even than during the recession of 2008/9. I hope that in the fullness of time, our cut to the forecast may prove to have been overdone, but in the current market, this seems the appropriate stance to adopt,' said Helen Connolly, Chief Executive.

'I believe that Bonmarché is well prepared to weather the storm, and that we can look forward to some recovery in FY20. Accordingly, the Board remains confident in the strategy, and in the Company's long-term prospects.' At 8:13am: [LON:BON] Bonmarche Holdings share price was -40p at 40.5p



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