Laura Ashley has issued its second profit warning this year after cautioning full-year profits would come in “significantly below market expectations.”
In a short statement to the stock exchange, the fashion and homewares business did not provide any guidance as to what its bottom line would be when it unveils its preliminary results in December.
The fresh warning comes just two months after Laura Ashley said profits would come in below expectations, after suffering a pre-tax loss of £1.5m during the 26 weeks to December 31.
Like-for-like retail sales fell 4.2% and total sales across the group slumped 8.7% to £122.9m during the six-month period.
Laura Ashley blamed the slump on lower sales of home furnishings, disruption from a change in its Japanese franchise partner and the write-off of an investment in an associate company.
Chairman Andrew Khoo said at the time trading conditions had been “difficult” amid “continued market turbulence”. But he insised the business was “better placed to deal with the current headwinds and to move the business forward” having paid off its debts.
Five days after its disappointing half year results American investment firm Flacks Group said it was in the preliminary stages of a takeover bid for the struggling fashion and homewares retailer, but the bid ultimately collapsed.
Khoo insisted there had been “no approach whatsoever” and said its major shareholders had “no intention” of selling its stake.
Laura Ashley will post its full-year results for the 52 weeks to June 30 on August 22.