Jul 27, 2009
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Blacks secures further funds, warns on profit

Jul 27, 2009

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - British outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure Group Plc (BSLA.L) said on Friday 24 July that it had secured funds for a further year, but warned that its full year performance would be below market expectations.

Photo: www.blacksleisure.co.uk

The firm, which trades from 372 Blacks Outdoor and Millets stores and a 43-store boardwear division, said Lloyds Banking Group had extended its working capital facility for twelve months, following its original extension to end-August 2009.

Shares in the company, which have lost over half their value over the last year, pared earlier losses to close down 3 percent at 48 pence.

The facility, for 35 million pounds ($57.86 million), is crucial for Blacks' turnaround plan. The company wants to develop its outdoor business and exit the loss making boardwear division by converting stores.

However, the second tranche of planned conversions - scheduled for September - was postponed while the debt talks continued.

The debt talks process and the delay they have caused has led to one-off costs that would result in a below expectation performance, the company said.

"The company continues to investigate options to accelerate the turnaround of the business including ways to achieve a rapid exit from the loss-making boardwear division and resume the roll out of the new format outdoor stores which continue to perform well," Blacks said in a statement.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Matt Scuffham)

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