Positive results for retailing trade

A review of all the retail trading statements issued on the London stock exchange during the first quarter of 2007 has revealed that an overwhelming majority of retailers issued positive or neutral trading statements.

The review suggests that the difficult retail environment experienced over the past few years may have finally abated according to research issued by leading business and financial advisers Grant Thornton.

Nearly half (44%) of all listed retailers issued positive trading statements for the first three months of the year, a significant increase from the one third (33%) of positive statements issued in 2006 and one quarter (25%) in 2005, the review said.

Additionally, an encouraging 46% issued neutral statements leaving only the remaining 10% to issue negative statements.

According to Grant Thornton only six profit warnings were issued during the quarter, down from nine in the same period in 2006.

David Bush, head of Grant Thornton's retail services team, said: "Over the past few years retailers have experienced extremely difficult trading circumstances, with consumer confidence plummeting and fixed costs sky-rocketing.

"Perhaps these robust results are finally the sign that retailers have been waiting for - could they mark the start of a resurgence in the retail sector?"

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