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Laura Ashley profits dive but fashion sales rise

Laura Ashley’s like-for-like fashion sales rose 3.6% for the 53 weeks to January 31, although group pre-tax profits dropped to £9.6 million from £15.8m the previous year.

Laura Ashley’s total sales at the group were up 9.6% to £260.5m for the period. UK retail sales rose 10.6% to £20m, with like-for-like sales down 6.2%.

Fashion sales outperformed the other categories with total retail sales up 24%.

Gross margin was down by 2 percentage points as a result of promotional activity and the weakness of the sterling.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr. KP Khoo said: “In a period of extraordinary economic difficulties I am pleased that Laura Ashely has remained resilient. The strength of our brand, distinctiveness of our products and loyalty of customers are critical factors which will continue to enhance our efforts to grow both in the UK and internationally.”


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