Furniture & fashion retailer Laura Ashley has this morning reported decent sales growth at the start of its latest financial year.
Total sales for the 18 weeks ending rose 4.1 per cent year-on-year despite the general trend for low consumer spending on the high street and on a underlying basis the retailer’s trading increased by 5.4 per cent, according to today’s statement.
In a statement released by Laura Ashley, the company said that it “is confident that its well-established brand, high quality product offering and strong balance sheet will ensure the like-for-like sales growth trend continues across the retail business for the rest of 2012.”
Full-year results published by the retailer in March revealed that its total profits had shrunk almost £6 million compared to the previous 12 months and that UK sales had slipped during the period.
Much of the decline in profitability was down property transactions, including the acquisition of a hotel in Hertfordshire, which when discounted show its reported full-year profit before tax dropped from £19.3 million to £18.8 million in the 12 months to January 28th 2012.
At the time the Chairman of Laura Ashley Tan Sri Dr. K P Khoo said that the company was focused on internationally expansion and developing multichannel operations.
During the first quarter period of its latest financial year, ecommerce sales rose 18.8 per cent year-on-year, and amongst other developments the retailer has now developed a full mobile website and has expanded it online services to France.
Laura Ashley claimed that the growth of this division “can be partly attributed to the Laura Ashley website, lauraashley.com, having undergone considerable functional developments giving the customer greater ease of navigation and showcasing the entire range of bespoke upholstery products.”