• First-half pre-tax profits slip to £7.8m from £11m 
  • Like-for-likes slide 3.5%
  • Total sales in half-year fall to £146m
  • Full-year profits likely to be below expectations

Laura Ashley has warned its full-year profits will fall below expectations after “demanding” trading conditions in its first-half.

Pre-tax profits slid 29% to £7.8m in the 26 weeks to December 31, the home furnishings and womenswear retailer reported today.

Like-for-likes fell 3.5% in the period.

“Trading conditions have been demanding during the first six months of the year ending 30 June 2017,” said Laura Ashley’s chairman Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng. 

“The board have reviewed the first half results and forecasts for the remainder of the year.. and, given the continued market challenges, feels that net pre-tax profit for the year will fall below market expectations.”

Total sales in Laura Ashley’s first half fell 2.5% to £146m.

Online sales rose slightly to £25.6m.

Looking ahead, the retailer’s chairman said it is continuing to invest in its online offer which will bring a “larger and more international audience”. It launched a website in China in November.

He added: “Continuing to grow and develop our international presence and explore new partnership opportunities is an important part of our strategy and we have made good progress in the half.”