Jacques Vert dives pounds 2.8m into the red

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The Independent Online
JACQUES VERT, the troubled womenswear group, plunged to a pre-tax loss of pounds 2.8m in the year to 25 April and announced a further pounds 1.8m of extraordinary losses. There is no final dividend, leaving a total for the year of 2p (10p).

Stock write-downs at the company, which made profits of pounds 3m last time, contributed pounds 1.1m of the losses. There were also one-off costs of closing the Upton factory, three shops in the US and a Harlow warehouse used for the discontinued Alain Cannelle label.

The company said the core Jacques Vert brand continued to trade profitably. Continuing businesses made more than pounds 1m before exceptional items. Discontinued businesses lost pounds 2.1m before closure costs.

The stock market marked the shares down 5p to 44p as the board said it did not expect any improvement in trading in the short term.

Jacques Vert stunned the market in January when it reported a small interim loss. In May it announced the closures and restructuring, and warned of losses in the full year.

Sashi Mylvaganam, the former finance director who left the company in December, is suing for unfair dismissal. He has been replaced by Malcolm Heald, formerly of Kingfisher.

Mr Heald said a more rigorous policy had been adopted for writing down obsolete stock. Had it been in force in the previous year, pounds 690,000 would have been written off then.

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