BHS owner Arcadia suffered a 38% slump in annual profit, it revealed today – a blow that will force the widespread closure of stores.
Sir Philip Green’s group, whose high street names also include the fashion stores Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burtons, made a pre-tax profit of just £133m in the year to August 2011, compared with £213m a year earlier.
Sales at Arcadia’s 3,100 outlets worldwide fell by 3.4%, and have dropped still further in the first 12 weeks of the new financial year, by 4.4%. In the UK, like-for-like annual sales dipped 1.8%.
The poor figures could see as many as 260 stores close down over the next three years as their leases expire.
Sir Philip blamed the unusually warm weather and consumers’ financial worries for the group’s dismal performance.