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Fashion sales soar at Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley saw like-for-like fashion sales rise 8.2% for the six months to August 1.

Laura Ashley said the strong performance from fashion was due to the category having additional selling space thanks to store refurbishments. It added that jersey dresses, jumpers and jewellery had sold “particularly well”.

Total UK like-for-like retail sales soared 6.7% in the six months to August 1, and group sales rose 6.3% to £127.8m.

However the retailer’s profits were hit by currency fluctuations, which amounted to £5.5m. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £4.7m to £1.1m.

Laura Ashley chairman KP Khoo said: “I am encouraged by the positive start we have seen to the second half and remain cautiously optimistic that this momentum will continue through to the end of the year.

“I remain confident that Laura Ashley is well positioned with its key focus on operational efficiencies, excellence in product offering and multi-channel retailing.”

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