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Laura Ashley warns on profits

Laura Ashley has warned that its net pre-tax profit for the full year will be “materially” below market expectations, as trading conditions continue to be “demanding”.

The retailer said its results will also show an exceptional £2.8m “impairment charge” owing to the revaluation of a freehold property owned by the business.

It is Laura Ashley’s second profit warning this year. In February, the retailer warned its net pre-tax profit will fall below expectations after a difficult first half, during which it faced rising costs.

For the 26 weeks to 31 December like-for-like sales fell 3.5%, while profit before tax dropped 29% to £7.8m compared to 2016. Total group sales fell 2.5% to £146m.

The warning today comes ahead of its full-year results for the 12 months to 30 June, which will be released next week.

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