Womenswear fashion chain Bonmarché has delayed the publication of its annual financial results as Cumbrian retail tycoon Philip Day’s edges closer.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) the company said its results for the year ending March 30 would be delayed beyond July 31 to give PwC enough time to conclude its audit report.

Bonmarché also said it anticipated that the annual report would be made public after its listing on the LSE had been cancelled, with the company falling under control of Mr Day’s Spectre Holdings Limited.

“As such, the Company will be requesting the suspension of trading in the Company's shares with effect from 7.00 a.m. on 1 August 2019,” said Bonmarché in its statement.

Spectre – the Dubai-registered company owned entirely by Mr Day – revealed last week that it had secured 46.5m Bonmarché shares.

The shareholding represents 93 per cent of the embattled retailer, which has 300 stores across the UK, including outlets in Carlisle, Barrow and Workington.

Spectre acquired 52.4 per cent of the company in March, which triggered a mandatory takeover bid by Mr Day who offered remaining shareholders 11.445 pence per share up until the deadline of Friday, July 12.

The significant increase in Mr Day’s shareholding followed a dramatic u-turn by the Bonmarché board, who had previously resisted Mr Day’s advances, saying his offered undervalued the company.

And despite repeating its reservations about the valuation and Mr Day’s long-term plans for company, it admitted that poor trading in the first quarter along with its ongoing efforts to cut costs made Mr Day’s offer “potentially more attractive in the short term”.

Mr Day has a long legacy of turning around struggling retailers, adding the likes of Peacocks, Proquip, Austin Reed, Country Casuals, Jaeger and Jacques Vert to his growing Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group empire.

Spectre Holdings Ltd remains separate from the group, for which Mr Day is best known.