Outdoor clothing and footwear retailer Blacks Leisure Group Plc has agreed a temporary extension to its bank loans after seeing sales fall by nearly 11% since the start of its financial year.

The company, which operates the Blacks Outdoor and Millets stores and also said it is reviewing its “overall capital requirements with a view to strengthening its capital structure.”

The measures come as it posted a 10.9% drop in total group sales for the 19 weeks to 9 July, falling to GBP54.6m (US$88.0m) from GBP61.3m in the same period last year. Like-for-like sales were 9.7% lower.

“Although sales for the period were below our expectations, we have maintained gross margins and controlled overheads,” it said.

The group added that its performance “has seen an improving trend as the financial year has progressed, and like-for-like sales for the six weeks since the end of May were 3.2% ahead of last year.” 

The company has been restructuring its business by closing poorly performing stores and exiting from its non-core Boardwear segment. 

New chief executive Julia Reynolds, the former CEO of online lingerie retailer Figleaves.com and a previous category director at Tesco responsible for introducing the Florence & Fred clothing range, is set to join the retailer on 1 August.