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Aurora sees 5% rise in sales over first half

Womenswear group Aurora Fashions has reported a 5% rise in like-for-like sales over the six months to July 31.

The company, which operates womenswear chains Warehouse, Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen, saw EBITDA rose by 36% to £17.8m, while online sales grew by 34%. Global retail sales reached £362m.

It is understood that Warehouse and Karen Millen are the group’s star performers although the company did not break out figures for each chain.

Aurora, which was born out of the administration of Mosaic Group, has restructured over the period and it has now appointed dedicated managing directors for all four chains.

As revealed by Drapers in August, former LK Bennett chief executive Margaret MacDonald was appointed managing director of occasionwear chain Coast during the period, while Liz Evans, the former Coast managing director, was named managing director at Oasis.

Meg Lustman, former chief strategy officer, took the role of managing director of Warehouse, and Steve Price and Gemma Metheringham were appointed as joint chief executives of Karen Millen at the end of last year.

Meanwhile Aurora has also appointed former Asos marketing and operations director Hash Ladha to the role of group multi-channel director as part of its bid to develop its cross-channel retail.

Mike Shearwood, chief executive of Aurora, said: “Appointing managing directors to each of our brands is a significant milestone and demonstrates we have now moved, earlier than originally planned, into the next stage of our development. Our focus is on growth.”

The group currently has 1,508 stores in 46 countries and it will now focus on international expansion and growing its online presence.

In July, it reported operating profits of £22.6m for the first 11 months since it was formed.

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