Alexon Group has slumped in to the red and recorded a pre-tax loss before exceptional items of £900,000 in the year to January 30, but said it has laid the foundations to accelerate its turnaround plan.
The pre-tax losses compare with a profit of £10.8m the previous year but include exceptional items amounting to £13.4m primarily relating to onerous lease provisions.
For the full-year, the group – which operates chains including Ann Harvey, Eastex and Dash – reported turnover dropped 13.6% to £153.4m, and a like-for-like sales slump of 14.6%. However, like-for-likes since the year end have improved and were down 4% in the 11 weeks ending April 17, in line with management expectations.
Chief executive Jane McNally said: “This has, without doubt, been a difficult year for the UK retail industry and for the Alexon group in particular. Our performance was impacted not only by the challenging environment but by the impact of poor product legacy and onerous leases.
“Despite this, I am pleased to report that the group made strong and sustained progress throughout the year as management focused on turning around the business, securing its target market and positioning it for future growth. We have now addressed the group’s onerous property leases and secured the funding for investment in the business, which will enable us to accelerate our turnaround plan and have laid the foundation from which to develop.”
During the year the retailer established its turnaround plan, improved buying processes and eliminated excess stock. It also focused on cost management.
Since the year end it has raised £18.5m to fund the property reorganisation and investment in stores and concessions.