Alexon Group, which includes the Ann Harvey and Bay Trading , has raised its full-year operating profit outlook, after sales improved in December.
Like-for-like sales for the 23 weeks to January 3 dropped 10.5% compared to the previous year. Alexon Brands, excluding Bay Trading, saw a 7.7% like-for-like sales fall. Alexon said trading had improved in December.
Alexon said gross margins were 1% lower, due to increased promotional activity at its department store partners and due to Alexon’s own strategy to clear stock ahead of the spring season.
Alexon chief executive Jane McNally said initial reaction to the early phases of new spring merchandise for Bay Trading and Ann Harvey had been pleasing. Alexon said these were the two brands where there had been opportunity for McNally’s new management team t impact product direction because of shorter lead times.
Alexon said the recent insolvency of Style Menswear, which traded as Envy, had resulted in around 12 leases reverting to Alexon. Alexon said it had made preparations for this and that there would be no material impact on the current financial year.