// Laura Ashley slips into the red after homeware arm underperforms
// It posted a full-year pre-tax loss of £14.3m, down from a profit of £100,000
// In the 52 weeks to June 30, the retailer’s loss before tax and exceptional items was £9.8m, down from a profit of £5.6m
Laura Ashley has reported a full-year pre-tax loss of £14.3 million, down from a profit of £100,000.
Chairman Andrew Khoo blamed the loss on underperformance in the retailer’s homeware division.
In the 52 weeks to June 30, Laura Ashley’s loss before tax and exceptional items was £9.8 million, down from a profit of £5.6 million the previous year.
Total like-for-like retail sales for the year were down 3.5 per cent, while total group sales fell to £232.5 million, down from £257.2 million the previous year.
Laura Ashley also saw its online sales fall during the period to £51.2 million, down from £59.7 million.
“We have focused on the reasons why home furnishings have underperformed and have taken necessary steps to mitigate this, including adding new contemporary product to our ranges,” Khoo said.
“We have taken active steps to listen to our customers and now believe that we are on an appropriate recovery path.”
However, Laura Ashley’s fashion business saw like-for-like sales grow 9.2 per cent, which Khoo said was a result of improved designs.
The retailer has already issued two separate profit warnings since January.