Interim results for NWF Group have shown a difficult trading period for the the diversified sales and distribution business, which operates six garden centres.
Interim results for the six months ended 30 November 2007 have shown that turnover increased 2.0% to £10.1 million (2006: £9.9m), of which the recently opened Ashton Park in Ashton-under-Lyne, accounted for £0.9m, with like-for-like sales down 7% on the previous year.
The division, which operates six destination garden centres, reported an operating loss of £231,000 compared to an operating profit of £360,000 in 2006.
"The loss resulted from a number of adverse factors. We witnessed very poor, severely weather affected sales in June and July, coupled with a gradual build up of sales at the newly opened Ashton Park centre," NWF said in a statement.
It added: "The start of Christmas trading was also slower than expected, as retail consumer confidence remained low. However, it is worth noting that our garden centres are expected to make the majority of their annual profits in the second half of the Group's financial year."
NWF's six garden centres are: Rivendell, near Widnes; Wheatcroft, near Nottingham; Dukeries, near Worksop (above); Victoria near Wakefield, Woodford Park in South Manchester, and Ashton Park in Ashton-under-Lyne.