Outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure has warned that operating profits will not meet market expectations as plummeting boardwear sales continue to impact the company.

Blacks said that like-for-like sales for the 18-week period to 3 January had fallen 3.9%, with outdoor revenues edging down 0.5% and boardwear sales slumping 19.2%.

For the peak Christmas trading period - the six weeks to 3 January - like-for-likes were down 3.9%, with outdoor revenues down 1.3% and boardwear sales down 14.9%.

"The outdoor business continues to perform strongly in a tough retail market, but the boardwear business is diluting this performance," said Blacks.

"As a consequence, operating profits for the group are expected to be below market expectations."

Blacks is continuing to try to diminish the impact of the boardwear business on the group, transferring its O'Neill wholesale business to O'Neill Europe, a subsidiary of Logo International.

Furthermore, the company plans to convert ten FreeSpirit stores into Outdoor stores during this financial year, starting this month.