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Exclusive: Aurora earnings fall £2.3m

Womenswear retail business Aurora Fashions saw EBITDA drop 15.3% in the year to February 2012, knocking £2.3m off the bottom line.

The parent company of womenswear chains Oasis, Coast and Warehouse saw earnings fall by 15.3% in the 12 month period, largely as a result of the underperformance of the Bastyan womenswear brand, which Aurora has a majority stake in.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers, Aurora Fashions chairman Derek Lovelock said the private business had seen revenues rise slightly, although this was down to international and online growth.

International sales in the period were up by 15%, while the business saw 28% growth in online sales over the full-year.

Overseas markets now account for 30% of Aurora’s group revenues.

Lovelock said: “We are adapting to the changing shape of our distribution channels to focus on more international and online opportunities as well as wholesale.”

Karen Millen, which is operated as a separate business from Aurora, reported EBITDA of £15m for the same full-year period. Global sales rose by 7.5%, with 60% of total sales now coming from outside the UK.

Online now account for 17% of all UK sales.

Karen Millen opened 50 international stores during the period and is now focusing its investment on store openings in the Far East, Middle East and South America.

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