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New Chairman for Alexon as group returns to profit

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Women’s fashion specialist Alexon Group has appointed a new Chairman on the same day preliminary results for the year to January 29th 2011 revealed a return to profitability.

David Adams will take on the role from May 31st when current incumbent Richard Handover retires from the board.

Adams joined the group as a non-executive director last year, aiding the business - which owns Alexon, Ann Harvey, Dash, Eastex, Kaliko and Minuet Petite - during its well-publicised turnaround strategy.

His input has helped the company make an annual pre-tax profit from continuing operations, before exceptional items, of £0.8 million. This compares to a loss of £0.9 million in the previous financial year.

Pre-tax profit after exceptional items are accounted for is £0.1m, a considerable improvement on the £14.3 million loss recorded in 2010.

Turnover for the year was £135.9 million, while like-for-like sales slipped 3.4 per cent and gross margin rose by ten basis points.

Last year was a period of much change at Alexon Group, with refinancing and capital raising completed in March, changes made to its property portfolio and further development of its online operation.

Commenting on today’s results, CEO Jane McNally said: “Despite being another difficult year for the UK retail industry we are pleased that the group made further progress with its turnaround and has returned to profitability.

“That said our performance was impacted not only by the challenging trading environment but also by the severe weather in the last quarter which adversely affected profits and our cash position.

“We are pleased to report that trading since the year end has been encouraging and broadly in line with management expectations against a tough economic backdrop.”

The turnaround strategy will continue as the year progresses, with McNally working alongside Adams to lead the business forward.

Adams commented: “I am delighted that my colleagues on the board of Alexon have offered me the role of Chairman.

“In the six months since I joined as a non-executive director, I have come to realise Alexon’s potential and look forward to working with the board and the senior management to help the group successfully complete its turnaround.”

Published on Thursday 28 April by Editorial Assistant

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