Alexon Group chief executive Jane McNally is positive that the troubled womenswear retail business will turn a profit this year as it ramps up its turnaround plan.
The womenswear retail group, which owns the Ann Harvey, Eastex, Dash, Kaliko, Minuet Petite and Alex & Co chains, posted a £900,000 pre-tax loss for the year to January 30, against a profit of £10.8m the previous year.
Total sales over the year fell 13.6% to £153.4m, with like-for-like sales down 14.6%.
Alexon’s performance has improved since the year-end and like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to April 17 were down just 4%. The group said Kaliko and Ann Harvey had seen the strongest recovery, but added that all its fascias were performing in line with expectations apart from Alex & Co, which offers smart, structured looks.
McNally said Alex & Co still had a place in the business providing its relaunch for autumn 10 proved a success. The chain will be rebranded as Alexon from autumn 10, a repositioning that was originally planned for autumn 09 but was put on hold until a stronger product team was put in place.
In March, Alexon raised £18.5m through a share placing to fund a reorganisation of its property portfolio. The business has now exited 37 unsuitable leases, and plans to open 10 stores and 58 concessions during this financial year.