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Half-year dip in sales and profit at Laura Ashley

Womenswear and furniture retailer Laura Ashley has reported a 7% rise in like-for-like sales in the 26 weeks to August 1, however pre-tax profits dipped to £8.4m, down from £8.5m.

Total group sales at the retailer, which has 205 owned stores in the UK, Ireland and France and 303 international franchise stores, were also down 3% to £139.7m, from £144m the previous year.

However, Laura Ashley said its UK business was helped by a strong online performance, where revenue grew 4.5%.

“I am pleased to report that our business has maintained the robust performance of recent years with a healthy increase in like-for-like, retail sales,” said Laura Ashley chairman Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng.

“Our UK business, buoyed by a strong performance from our online channel, has shown resilience and potential for continued growth”

“We are encouraged as we enter the second half of the year. We will continue to work with our overseas franchisees to ensure that we maximise the international opportunities for our franchise partners, and the group development and improvement of our digital platform, which has been a core group strategy over recent years, will remain a key focus as we strive to deliver a high-quality, multichannel experience for our customers.”

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