Best & Less like-for-like sales slump, profit outlook lowered

(Source: Best&Less Group/Facebook)

Discount apparel retailer Best & Less Group (BLG) says its sales fell 11.7 per cent in the five weeks to June 18 – or by $9 million – with like-for-like sales down by 13.2 per cent.

Its greatest hit was online where sales fell 19.6 per cent, while turnover at physical stores was down by 12.5 per cent.

The trading update comes just 48 hours before the deadline for minor shareholders to accept a takeover offer by Brett Blundy and Ray Itaoui. That offer went unconditional early this month having reached a 55 per cent threshold for shareholder acceptance, but the bidders are seeking to mop up as many shares as possible. The takeover offer will remain open until 7 pm Thursday (June 22) during which time all shareholders can opt to sell or hold their stakes.

Meanwhile, the company said in its trading update that measures have been taken to reduce its inventory position in order to align with current demand.

To “right-size” the business’ cost base, other expense management initiatives have been implemented however the full benefit of these actions and lower product and shipping costs will not be seen until later this calendar year, it said.

For the second half of this year, the group expects total revenue to be in the range of $310 million and $315 million while pro forma net profit after tax is expected to be between $3.6 million and $4.2 million.

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