Body Shop revamp to follow profit warning

BODY SHOP is expected to announce a radical overhaul of its struggling business next week after another profits warning yesterday pushed shares in the "green" cosmetics retailer close to an all-time low. The warning came as Debenhams, the department store group, also reported a dip in sales, although its shares rose on relief that it had not experienced a Marks & Spencer-style "meltdown".

Body Shop said group like-for-like sales in the 10 weeks to January were 2 per cent down on the same period last year. Sales in the UK and US were 6 per cent and 9 per cent lower respectively. The company said it would make a further announcement next week on the management's plans to "reshape" the company. Analysts believe this could include factory closures in America and significant job losses.

The Christmas trading statement added that although group sales to date are 4 per cent up on last year, the full-year profit outcome will be below market expectations. It blamed a shortfall in Christmas sales in the UK as well as lower wholesale sales to head franchisees as they cut back on stock levels. Analysts have reduced their forecasts from about pounds 32m for the full year to about pounds 25m.

In the UK, Christmas sales were hit by lower sales of seasonal accessories, although Christmas gifts sold well. In the US, Christmas sales were "disappointing" because of an "inadequate" product offering in a highly promotional trading environment. Patrick Gournay, chief executive, said the reorganisation of the US business was continuing, with costs being cut and marketing benefits starting to come through.

The fresh warning pushed Body Shop shares 4p lower to 85p. They stood at around 150p in 1995 when the founders, Anita and Gordon Roddick, hatched plans to take the company private.

They have since attempted to improve their relations with the City, although this has not been reflected in the share price.

Debenhams shares rose by 10.5p to 350.5p on relief that its figures were not as bad as had been feared. In the 20 weeks to 16 January its sales fell by 2.5 per cent on a same-store basis compared with last year, with analysts saying the fall was respectable given the performance of its rivals.

Debenhams said the clothing market had been "difficult" but that sales of Christmas gifts were up by 30 per cent. Designer merchandise and accessories had also done well.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Financial Advisers and Paraplanners

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...

Guru Careers: FX Trader / Risk Manager

Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map