Shares in outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure plummeted today (3 October) after the company issued the latest in a series of profit warnings, citing "difficult" trading in August.

The UK company, which owns the Blacks, Millets and Freespirit retail brands, was issuing a trading update ahead of interim results due at the end of October.

It said that trading had been satisfactory for most of the first half, but had deteriorated more recently, especially in August.

As such, it is now predicting a first-half loss of GBP4.5m (US$7.9m) before exceptional items, compared to last year's loss of GBP0.6m.

Blacks' outdoor businesses experienced a 5.2% drop in like-for-like sales, although the company pointed to tough comparatives, with last year's figure a 5.6% gain.

But the gloom deepened for the group's boardwear business, which endured a 16.1% plunge in like-for-likes. For the group as a whole, like-for-like sales were down 7.7%.

Blacks said its cost-cutting measures were bearing early fruit, with GBP5.6m having been saved so far this year, ahead of expectations.

Stocks were about 12% lower than at this time last year, it added.

Trading in the first few weeks had been "more encouraging", the company said, with September trading in line with expectations.

But shares in Blacks Leisure plummeted after the announcement, dropping 16% to a new all-time low.