Womenswear group Alexon, which includes the Ann Harvey and Kaliko chains, experienced a marginal group like-for-like sales rise for the period from August 1 to November 23, and remains cautious on the outlook.

Like-for-likes were up 0.4% while gross margins increased 0.4%. The retailer said autumn 2010 sales margin increased by 2.8%, due to improvements to its ranges and better control of its promotional activity.

The company said trading across the entire brand portfolio had been encouraging in recent weeks, with Kaliko in particular performing well and continuing to benefit from new store and concession refits.

The autumn 10 collection for the Alexon brand, the first under its new design team, saw a positive uplift in sales and margin while its Ann Harvey chain continued a positive like-for-like trend through the latter half of the period and delivered improved margin growth.

However sales of its Eastex brand remained broadly flat, although Alexon said there had been a small improvement in margin as a result of the “actions” taken on across buying and promotional activity.

A company statement said: “We are encouraged by the trends in our performance over the last three weeks which have shown marked improvement. That said, the consumer environment remains uncertain. We see no immediate change to this and re-iterate our cautious approach.”