City File: Keeping a wary eye on Body Shop

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BODY SHOP International, the franchised toiletries retailer, will reveal on Tuesday whether the stock market over- reacted to its profits warning last month. Its shares plunged 41 per cent when it chose Black Wednesday to warn that UK sales had been disappointing.

It has promised pre-tax profits for the half-year to end-August of not less than pounds 8m ( pounds 9.1m) and says the interim dividend will be held at 0.68p. The City will take fright if like-for-like UK sales are any more than 5 per cent down, and will be looking for rapid growth internationally. Investors may take comfort from chairman Gordon Roddick's plans for a six-week visit to South America after the results - hardly likely if the company were facing imminent problems.