Like-for-like sales growth in the first half was flattered by an exceptionally strong start to the year with the benefit of seasonal autumnal weather in 2012 compared with an unseasonably warm autumn in 2011. In the third quarter, like-for-like growth was subdued during the very cold months of March and April but a marked improvement with the better weather in May and June. Currency translation has had no material effect on sales for the year to date.
Extensions to the Manchester and Newcastle stores were completed on schedule and at 22 June 2013, it was trading from 257 stores with 9.0 million sq ft of selling space. New store openings will accelerate in the new financial year and include our first step into France, in Marseille.
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