By Daniel Hunter

Bonmarche have announced an 11.8% rise in half-year profits, although the retailer said it had suffered from one of the warmest autumns on record as shoppers shunned its coats and jumpers.

“These conditions have continued into the second half. However, on the basis that the weather returns to its normal seasonal pattern, [we expect] the current year’s performance to be in line with its original expectations," Chief executive Beth Butterwick said.

In the six months to 30 September, Bonmarche recorded sales of £91.1m. The retailer, which specialises in plus-sized clothing, also boosted pre-tax profits for the period by 68 per cent to £6.4m, thanks in part to improved clothes and removing pricing uncertainty by selling more items at a lower full price, rather than using heavy discounting.

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