Rain aids outdoor stores

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The Independent Online

This year's downpours have helped sales to bounce back strongly at Mountain Warehouse, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, after its profits fell by nearly a quarter in 2011.

Mark Neale, founder and chief executive of the group, which is backed by Lloyds Development Capital, said: "Since the year end, like-for-like sales are up 'double-digit', with the wet weather helping no end. We sell products to keep you warm and dry."

The retailer's underlying profits fell by 24 per cent to £9.3m over the year to February. Mr Neale blamed a "significant investment in people, systems, international and online".

Mountain Warehouse, which has more than 150 stores, is on track to become the UK's biggest outdoor chain after JD Sports Fashion closed a large number of Blacks and Millets shops.