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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot