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Laura Ashley sees like-for-like sales rise by 3.3%

Laura Ashley, the furniture and ladies’ fashion retailer, said its full-year results were “resilient” as it reported a 3.3% rise in like-for-like sales.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Laura Ashley sees like-for-like sales rise by 3.3%

Laura Ashley, the furniture and ladies’ fashion retailer, said its full-year results were “resilient” as it reported a 3.3% rise in like-for-like sales.

In the year ended 28 January pre-tax profit, excluding exceptional items, was down 2.6% to £18.8 million. Total group sales rose 0.3% to £285.9 million while total UK sales were down 0.6% to £255 million.

The company said a strong performance in the first half of the year had been followed by a more challenging autumn. However, trading improved towards the end of 2011 and in the first eight weeks of its current financial year, like-for-like sales growth was 10.9%.

Commenting on the results, Tan Sri Dr. K P Khoo, Laura Ashley chairman, said: "In what continues to be a very competitive consumer environment, I am pleased that we have maintained the progress of recent years and delivered a resilient set of results, maintaining gross margin and seeing continued like-for-like sales growth across the retail business.

"Laura Ashley's success stems from its high-quality product offering and distinctive style which is based on the brand's rich design heritage and contemporary interpretations. As we expand internationally, we are proud that over 40% of our sales is derived from products manufactured in the UK."

The company said further expansion of its brand marketing strategy will include the acquisition of a boutique hotel to showcase its products and design service.

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