Alexon, the multi-brand womenswear group, saw like-for-like sales plunge 5.6% for the year ended January 26, but operating profit (excluding exceptionals) rose to £10.5 million against £9.9m the previous year.
Total turnover dipped 3.3% to £262.1m.
The Alexon Brands division, which includes Eastex,. Dash, Kaliko and Alex & Co saw like-for-likes fall 5% over the year but margin was 1.1 percentage points higher. The company said that Eastex and Dash had continued to perform strongly and that Alex & Co and Minuet had showed signs of recovery. It added that the buying and design teams at Kaliko and Ann Harvey had been strengthened and said that it was confident this would have a positive impact at the brands this year.
At Bay Trading, Alexon’s young fashion chain, operating profit fell back to £1.1m against £1.8m the previous year. However like-for-like sales were down 7%. Alexon said the chain had experienced a tough second half.
Alexon sold Envy, its multi-brand menswear chain, for £1 earlier this year.
Chief executive John Osborn said: “The disposal of the menswear division now eliminates ongoing losses associated with this division and enables us to concentrate on our core womenswear business. Whilst the outcome for the year will be affected by the overall trading climate, the business is well placed to continue its recovery.”