Outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure Group has reported a 12 per cent increase in first-half profit but warned that trading will be tough for the rest of the year.

First-half pre-tax profit totalled £6.9 million on a 1 per cent sales rise to £140m. Same-store sales during the first-half period slipped 4.8 per cent and fell a further 11.8 per cent in the first eight weeks of the second half.

The company said the summer camping and hiking season had led to good demand for outdoor goods, and added that it had opened new Millets stores and seven new Blacks stores in the first half.

But, sounding a note of caution, chairman David Bernstein said: "We share the view of a number of other retailers that the market will remain tough for the remainder of the year."