• H1 pre-tax profit up 7% to GBP3.1m
  • Sales up 1.3% to GBP56.5m
  • Recent trading conditions “more challenging”

Women’s wear retailer Jacques Vert posted a 7% rise in pre-tax profits in the six months to 23 October, but warned that trading in the 11 weeks afterwards had proven more difficult.

First-half sales were up 1.3% and like-for-likes increased 3.1%, but like-for-likes rose only 1.9% in the 11 weeks following 23 October, the UK owner of the Jacques Vert, Windsmoor, Planet and Precis brands said.

Chief executive Paul Allen said performance had been “severely impacted” by poor weather in December, warning that sales in the three weeks to 24 December were “significantly down” on last year, despite a rebound in fortunes following Christmas.

“The group’s brands performed well in a competitive market and there is further scope for our online business to realise its full potential,” said company chairman Steve Bodger.

“Recent trading conditions have been more challenging and the economic outlook provides further concern; but we feel the strength of our brands and our financial position will stand us in good stead in the market.”