Laura Ashley pre-tax profits decline
Laura Ashley said its pre-tax profit before exceptional items declined to �20.7 million in the 52 weeks to 30 January from �22.9 million in the prior year.
In its second interim results statement, the fashion and homewares retailer said total group sales dropped 4.6% to £289.5 million in the period although like-for-like retail sales edged up 4.8%.
Furniture sales increased by 2.8% over the same period last year with like-for-like sales up 4.8%.
The homeware category also saw an increase in total and like-for-like sales with sales up 5.6% and 8.7% respectively.
Meanwhile, fashion sales decreased by 4% with like-for-like sales rising by 2.6%.
Total online sales climbed by 5.3% and by 14.5% on a like-for-like basis.
Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng, Laura Ashley chairman, said: "I am pleased with the performance and the underlying strength of our core UK business, where healthy like-for-like sales growth, across all product categories, has been achieved for another year.
"We will continue to work with our overseas partners following a challenging year for our international business. The acquisition of our Asian headquarters in Singapore signals our commitment to the overseas business channel. Our plans for continued international growth remain central to our strategy as a worldwide brand.
"We remain optimistic for the future and are confident that the strength of the brand and the enduring appeal of our product ranges mean we are well positioned for continued growth."
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