Bonmarche estimates that store like-for-like sales for the second quarter will be down by approximately 8.0%, and the LFL sales for the first half-year will also be down by around 8.0%. In its last update, published 28 July 2016, the Company stated that trading conditions during the first quarter of FY17 had been difficult due to poor weather, but that its expectation for the full year remained unchanged, on the assumption that trading conditions normalise through the autumn season. It says despite difficult trading conditions in July and August, overall performance was in line with management's expectations for the full year. However, trading in September has been extremely poor, largely as a consequence of the unseasonably hot weather which has not favoured sales of the group's new autumn ranges. The hot weather conditions have resulted in the strong sales of residual summer stock however, and this will result in an end of season summer stock holding which is below last year's level, despite the generally poor summer season. A trading statement says: "We approach the beginning of the second half of the year facing considerable uncertainty as to market conditions. The hot September has prevented us from gaining a representative measure of the strength of the autumn ranges, and our perception is that the clothing market generally has become more challenging. "The Board's view is that in the light of September's result, and its generally less optimistic view of market conditions, it is appropriate to lower the profit expectation for the second half of the year. "Combining the effect of September's trading with a more cautious forecast for the second half of the year, the Board's view is that the Company's full year profit before tax is likely to fall within a range between £5.0m and £7.0m."
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