Mar 21, 2018

UK retailers feel the strain as high street blues continue

It has been a black Wednesday for British high streets, as a flurry of retailers reported financing issues, weak sales or uncertainty about future trading. Elsewhere in the sector, home improvement group Kingfisher reported a 10 per cent fall in annual profits to £682m while its chief executive Veronique Laury pointed to an "Uncertain" outlook for the UK business. Its shares rose 8 per cent to 17p, having lost 74 per cent of their value in the past three months. British retailers have endured their worst start to the year since 2013, with annual sales growth slowing to 1.6 per cent in January compared with 2.3 per cent in the same month last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Carpetright's shares were down 1.5 per cent at 40p by late-morning trading, having shed 76 per cent of their value since December 21.

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