Laura Ashley full year profit drops to £0.1 million
Fashion and homewares retailer Laura Ashley made a pre-tax profit of just £0.1 million in the year to 30 June after experiencing “challenging” trading conditions.
This compares to a profit of £6.3 million in the prior year.
Although total like-for-like retail sales were down 0.4% in the period, there was some good news for the retailer’s fashion category which saw like-for-likes climb by 9.7%. However, like-for-like furniture sales declined by 4.1%.
Online sales rose to £59.7 million from a previous £57.3 million and now account for 25% of all retail sales.
Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng, Laura Ashley chairman, said: “As set out at the time of the interim results, the trading environment for the first half of the year was challenging and the board expected these difficult trading conditions to continue into the second half of the year.
“This proved to be the case and, given the softer trading environment for the year ended 30 June 2018, we are disappointed to report a fall in profits. Continued margin pressure and the impact of a changing retail landscape have contributed to the overall reduction in profit before tax.”
After deciding earlier this year to franchise its hotel and tea room concept in the UK and overseas, the company said it is now optimistic about the possibilities for growth and hopes it will enhance future profits.
Laura Ashley is planning to open its first two Thai stores during the new financial year.
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