In an interim management statement about returning capital to shareholders the multi-brand retailer said that the pattern of trade since September 24 had remained unchanged. It pointed to the statement it made on current trading at its interims in September as an accurate reflection of performance to date. The statement said: "Although like-for-like sales are down 5%, in the first seven weeks of the second half, gross margins continue to be ahead of last year. The current trading climate remains challenging and the outcome for the year is largely dependent on the critical Christmas trading period."
Meanwhile the board said it proposed a B share scheme as a means of returning capital to shareholders. At its interims in September the company said it intended to return 30p per ordinary share to shareholders, representing around £17 million in aggregate. The B share scheme gives shareholders a choice to receive their cash either as a capital sum or as a dividend. The proposal is subject to shareholder approval and an extraordinary general meeting will take place on November 29.
Alexon owns Eastex, Kaliko, Alex & Co, Dash, Ann Harvey, Minuet, Bay Trading and Envy.