Profits likely to be down for years to come as a consequence
Fashion group Alexon said it traded well in a tough market in the 52 weeks to January 29. However, a 1.3 per cent drop in like-for-like sales was only offset by improved gross margins by the retailer. Turnover for the period improved 2 per cent to£424.4 million, compared with the same period a year ago.

Profit before tax was£29.2 million, up from£26.8 million a year ago. However, the retailer said that as a result of the collapse of Allders it had to take a£2.2 million exceptional charge.

The Alexon Brands division recorded an operating profit of£26.2 million, up from£22.6 million a year before. Dolcis increased operating profit by£700,000 to£3.7 million.

The troubled Bay Trading chain recorded an operating loss of£700,000, compared with£3.3 million the year before. However, the board said it had strengthened the design team and taken steps to increase design content and appeal of the ranges at Bay Trading stores.

The retailer said the results represented a creditable performance in a difficult trading environment and that it was prepared for the challenges of the coming year. However, it expected to experience further repercussions from Allders' administration.

Alexon chief executive John Osborn said: 'We do not know the exact scale of the business lost from the break-up of the Allders Group, where we had 118 concessions. Our best estimate is that operating profits will be some£3 million a year lower in current and future years as a consequence.'