Discount clothing retailers continued to suffer yesterday with shares of UK value-for-money retailer Peacock taking a tumble on the stock market, falling by six per cent to their lowest since the company floated in 1999.

The company is due to make a statement tomorrow. If it shows, that the retailer has had to cut prices heavily to maintain market share, analysts are likely to trim their pre-tax profit forecasts of £16.5m.

This time last year Peacock reported a like-for-like sales increase of nine per cent in Christmas trading. Despite a quiet start to December 1999, stores were very busy just before Christmas itself. In May the group announced pre-tax profits of £9m on turnover of £197m.