Dobbies Garden Centres has bucked market trends and recorded improved sales for the six months to 30 April, although sales on a like-for-like basis fell.
The Scottish firm benefited from its expansion programme and saw a 7.4 per cent increase in total sales to £29.4m. Like-for-like sales were down three per cent.
But improved trading in the seven weeks since 30 April has seen a 6.5 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, so like-for-like sales for the year are down just 0.2 per cent.
Chief executive James Barnes said profits before tax in the first six months rose 3.6 per cent to £1.8m, which was good, considering the “difficult trading conditions”. Three new stores are planned in the next two years.
* Speculation remains about a Dobbies takeover bid by Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter, who recently bought 3.69 per cent of the company through his West Coast Capital investment vehicle.
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