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Alexon Group denies its concessions are at risk

Alexon Group chief executive Jane McNally has hit back at suggestions that the beleaguered womenswear group is facing further troubles.

This week, broker Seymour Pierce issued a note in which it downgraded its profit forecast for the 2010 year from break even to a pre-tax loss of £5m. The figure includes the losses incurred by value chain Bay Trading, which went into administration in April.

In the note, Seymour Pierce said: “We believe management must prioritise retention of space in the department stores, which are looking to cut back on underperforming concessions.”

It added: “Management is too keen to keep alive all five brands and embark on a store-development programme and overseas strategy.”

McNally said none of the group’s stockists had indicated they will be looking to drop Alexon’s brands, which include plus-size brand Ann Harvey, casualwear brand Dash, mainstream labels Kaliko and Alex & Co, and petites brand Minuet.

McNally, who joined the business last June, said the note was based on old information. She said: “We have worked hard to differentiate our brands this year and had a great response to our autumn 09 collections. We are relaunching in House of Fraser stores in early autumn. This will involve a few new concessions but mostly refits to revive the image of Kaliko, Minuet and Alex & Co.”

She added: “Most investors know we are implementing a medium-term not a short-term change, and remain loyal.”

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