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Strong young fashion sales bolster Aurora Fashions

Aurora Fashions, which operates womenswear chains Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen and Warehouse, has seen a resurgence in sales at its young fashion chains after sunny weather tempted shoppers out to buy maxi dresses and floral prints.

The group, which recorded sales of £661m and EBITDA of £38.6m in the year to January 30, the first year since its restructure from the ashes of the pre-pack administration of Mosaic Fashions, said all of the chains had achieved strong single-digit like-for-like growth in the first half of the current year, with a surge in the past two months.

Aurora Fashions chairman Derek Lovelock said: “It was a difficult start to the spring season in young fashion but the performance has come through very strongly in the past two months, with Warehouse in particular delivering double-digit like-for-like sales increases.”

He said that young fashion chains Warehouse and Oasis had both capitalised strongly on the trend for maxis, ditsy prints and florals.

“There has also been a turnaround in fortunes at Oasis, which everyone acknowledged had a difficult start to the season but has seen good like-for-like increases, especially in the past six weeks,” he said.

Oasis also benefited from a return to core values. Lovelock said: “Oasis is offering a slightly more conservative slant on fashion, with a feminine feel with good fit.”

Occasionwear chain Coast had a “very strong spring season” acc­ording to Lovelock, who added that like-for-likes were up in all markets, complemented by strong growth on the internet.

Karen Millen, the strongest-performing chain in the group, achieved like-for-like sales and margin growth during the first half. Like-for-likes were up 14% in the US and 15% in Europe during the period.

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