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Laura Ashley reports rise in sales and profits

Fashion and furniture retailer Laura Ashley has announced a 28% rise in pre-tax profits to £7.3 million for the half year to 30 July.

Like-for-like UK sales rose by 3.5% with growth seen across all product categories except Home Accessories. Like-for-like furniture sales rose by 5.8%, while fashion sales grew by 5.2%

Total UK retail sales decreased by 1.1% to £120.1 million following the closure of 14 unprofitable stores last year and a further 3 this year.
The company’s online sales were particularly strong, growing by more than 9%.

Commenting on the results Tan Sri Dr. K P Khoo, chairman, said: "These are a set of pleasing results with a 28% increase in profit before tax and exceptional items and a UK like-for-like sales growth of 3.5% over the period in what has been a very unsettled time for the retail sector.

"I am delighted that, once again, Laura Ashley's strong product offering, distinctive brand and continued focus on providing an attractive retail experience for customers have delivered another robust performance. These results show that our multi-channel and international strategies are working well. These, along with our strong balance sheet and ongoing operational efficiencies, give me confidence, notwithstanding the continuing economic headwinds, that we will meet the Board's expectations for the year."

Source: The Retail Bulletin
www.theretailbulletin.com/news/laura_ashley_reports_rise_in_sales_and_profits_08-09-11/

07 September 2011
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