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Steady progress at Laura Ashley for 17 weeks to end-May

Clothing and homewares retailer Laura Ashley delivered an increase in UK sales of 8.4 per cent for the 17 weeks to May 30 despite facing continued challenges in the tough marketplace.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Steady progress at Laura Ashley for 17 weeks to end-May

In its interim management statement the company attributed the increase in total UK retail sales mainly t
o its continued targeted promotional activity and the increase in its retail selling space from stores opened in the previous year. The company also delivered a like-for-like sales increase of 6.9 per cent.

To address the tough climate the company is continuing with its store portfolio realignment programme and this resulted in only one new store opening in the UK and three in France during this 17-week period, which takes the total portfolio to 229 outlets in the UK and Ireland, and seven in France.

The company's online and mail order division also continues to grow with sales up 11 per cent - mainly driven by the former channel whose sales uplift of 41.6 per cent offset the 24.2 per cent decline in mail order.

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