// Laura Ashley warns full-year profits will “fall short of market expectations”
// Like-for-like sales dropped 4.2% during the half year
// Fashion like-for-like sales climbed 11.8%
Laura Ashley has warned that its full-year profits will “fall short of market expectations” after it revealed a drop in half-year revenues.
The homeware and fashion retailer said like-for-like sales dropped by 4.2 per cent during the half year period ending December 31, although fashion like-for-like sales climbed 11.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, total sales across the group fell 8.7 per cent to £122.9 million.
Laura Ashley also suffered a pre-tax loss of £1.5 million during the 26 week period, compared to a £4.3 million pre-tax profit in the same period in the previous year.
The retailer said the weak performance was due to “revenue disruption” as a result of a change in its Japanese franchise partner.
Laura Ashley said it has cleared all of its long-term debt during the period, which was funded by its properties sale in Singapore.
Chairman Andrew Khoo said trading conditions were “difficult” during the six-month period amid “continued market turbulence.”
“In our drive for international growth, we are committed to preserve the inspirational and distinctive identity of the much-loved Laura Ashley brand,” he said.
“Having eliminated all of our long-term debts, we are now better placed to deal with the current headwinds and to move the business forward.”