10 Januuary 2012 – interim management statement

A good performance has been produced in the 13 weeks to 31 December with overall group revenues up by 2.4%.  In the core UK retail business, sales rose by 1.8% with strong food sales making up for a small decline in merchandise sales.  Direct sales and International sales eose by 22.4% and 8.1% respectively.  Given the challenging trading environment this was a good performance and the group’s expectations for its annual results to 31 March remain unchanged.  Although no improvement in trading is expected in the overall retail market, the group remains cautiously optimistic and with the shares yielding around 5.5% they are a BUY.