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Tough year for Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley has confirmed that it has run up a £14 million loss for the year ended 30th June on total sales of £232.5 million. Online sales had fallen by 14 per cent and overall the retailer said that its homeware sales had stalled with like-for-like furniture sales down by 9 per cent and decor products including wallpapers and curtain had fallen by 14 per cent. The business trades primarily in the UK and has recentlt closed six stores and will now be closing more.

The retailer said that a slowing housing market had led to difficult trading conditions which were being experienced across the sector but that it did have problems with some of its own ranges. However it did clock up an increase of nine per cent in its fashion range sales.

Chairman Andrew Khoo commented: "We are confident in the resilience of our brand but we have a lot of work to do to make sure it stays relevant for the future."

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