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Alexon posts profit warning after severe weather

Womenswear group Alexon, which includes the Ann Harvey and Kaliko chains, has issued a profit warning after extreme weather conditions impacted sales in a peak trading period.

The board at Alexon said it expected the downturn in trading over the last three weeks to impact profit expectations for the year ending January 29 by up to £1.5m.

Like-for-like sales at the group for November 23 to December 18 were down 19.9% with like-for-like sales for the year now down by 4.7%.

Alexon’s chains have a predominantly older customer base and the group said the recent snow and freezing temperatures has had a “disproportionate effect on sales”. The severe weather has also led to a number of stores being closed and in each of the last three weeks between 40 and 60 of the group’s outlets have been closed.

Alexon may suffer a technical breach of its EBITDAR convenant, but said its bank has been “constructive and supportive” following the trading difficulties.

Online trading has hit record highs for Alexon with online sales up 129% for the three weeks to December 19. The trading statement said despite the impact of the weather being “disappointing” the group continued to make progress with strategic plans including store refurbishments and the development of its online and mail order partnerships.

Last month Alexon posted a like-for-like sales rise of 0.4% and gross margin increase of 0.4% for the period August 1 to November 23.

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