Laura Ashley sees profits slump 98% amid ‘difficult’ trading conditions
Laura Ashley’s profits have slumped to 98% in its recent financial results amid what the company is calling “challenging trading conditions”.
In the year to 30 June, the fashion and homeware retailer saw its annual pre-tax profits fall to £100,000 compared to £6.3m experienced in the previous year.
Laura Ashley saw its total like-for-like retail sales drop to 0.4%. Meanwhile, like-for-like online sales for the firm were up by 4.1%.
Chairman Khoo Kay Peng said in a statement he was “disappointed” by the fall in profit which he blamed on a “changing retail landscape”.
However, Peng has said that he is “encouraged” by the growth of the online business and said the firm would be launching a new digital platform in the weeks to come.
He continued: “Laura Ashley’s brand is built on beautifully designed, high quality products.
“Whilst the trading environment will continue to be challenging, we remain resolutely confident in the underlying strength of this much-loved brand, in its relevance for today’s consumer and in our strategies to both maintain and develop the brand and the company.”
Over the past year, the retailer closed eight of its 168 UK stores and opened one. It now has plans to open two new stores and close a five more in the next year.