Bonmarche shares drop on retail caution

Bonmarche shop Image copyright Christopher Furlong

Women's fashion chain Bonmarche's shares fell sharply in early trading after becoming the latest retailer to warn that conditions are "challenging".

Bonmarche said colder weather had weighed on sales of spring stock and warned that consumer confidence "does not appear buoyant" in the UK.

Boss Beth Butterwick said it was "cautious" about the rest of the year.

It comes after M&S reported a fall in clothing sales and Next warned 2016 could be the toughest year since 2008.

Bonmarche shares fell 10% to 170p, valuing the company at about £85m.

The retailer, which has 312 shops in the UK, said like-for-like sales were almost flat in the last 12 months and that profit would be lower than expected.

Butterwick said: "Our expectation is that trading conditions will remain challenging, and therefore our outlook for the [fiscal year 2017] result is cautious."

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