Fashion group Alexon has revealed that pre-tax profits before exceptionals plummeted to £3.5m in its full year to January 31, from £16.4m the year before.

After exceptionals of pre-tax losses were £27.7m, down from a £12m profit in 2008.

Turnover fell 4.5 per cent to £250.3m with like for like sales down 9.1 per cent for the year. Although its core businesses including Dash and Eastex have performed well in the year, it made an operating loss of £7.3m on younger fashion chain Bay Trading.

Alexon said that the tough competition in the younger value fashion market has impacted the 268-store chain and it was also hit by the loss of 70 footwear concessions when Barratts fell into administration.

The group said that there was now a need to reposition the Bay Trading brand but if it underperforms it may need to take further action which could include a restructuring of the Bay Trading business.

Alexon has also completed a review of the business under chief executive Jane McNally who joined the business in June. McNally said: “Since my arrival we have undertaken a thorough review of the business and have taken subsequent action to strengthen it. The turnaround will take time, especially given the difficult marketplace, but we are confident that our core brands will remain robust and the initiatives that we have already put in place will enhance our progress.”

Yesterday Alexon said that it had rejected a bid from an unamed party for its business.