Jul 15, 2009
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Blacks Leisure says sales still falling

Jul 15, 2009

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - British outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure Group Plc (BSLA.L) on Wednesday 15 July posted a further fall in sales in its latest trading period but said it was confident of securing new funds from its lender.

Blacks Leisure Group Plc

The firm said sales at stores open more than a year fell 1.8 percent in the 19 weeks to July 11.

Within this like-for-like sales in the outdoor division, comprising Blacks and Millets, fell 1.6 percent, while like-for-like sales in the loss-making boardwear (surfwear) division, comprising Freespirit and O'Neill, fell 3.2 percent.

This outcome compares with a group like-for-like sales fall of 0.5 percent in the 12 weeks to May 23.

In May Blacks secured a three-month standstill deal with lender Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY.L), which extended its 35 million pounds ($56.94 million) banking facility to the end of August.

The firm is seeking a longer term facility that will enable it to develop its outdoor business and exit boardwear by converting the stores.

It said on Wednesday 15 July it was in an "advanced stage of negotiation" with Lloyds concerning the renewal of its existing working capital facility and was confident the process will be completed "rapidly".

Shares in Blacks, which have lost over half their value over the last year, closed Tuesday 14 July at 49.5 pence, valuing the business at 21.1 million pounds.

(Reporting by James Davey, editing by Rhys Jones)

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