Most retailers trading on the London Stock Exchange issued positive or neutral trading statements during the first quarter of 2007, suggesting the difficult retail environment of recent years could be nearing an end.
Close to half (44%) of all listed retailers issued positive statements, according to figures released by business and financial advisors Grant Thornton. The percentage is an increase from the 33% and 25% of positive statements issued in 2006 and 2005 respectively. A further 46% issued neutral statements, and 10% negative statements.
Head of Grant Thornton's retail services team, David Bush, said: "This quarter's results have been buoyed by the strong increase in the food and drink sector, with 83% of grocers issuing positive trading statements during the quarter."
The research also revealed that 74% of retailers experienced an increase in like-for-like sales. This figure was also bolstered by food and drink retailers, with 100% experiencing an increase.