Womenswear group Alexon reported weaker-than-expected interims with house broker Investec cutting its full-year forecast.

Like-for-likes at Alexon, which owns chains such as Ann Harvey, and Dash, weakened to 0.4% over the period from August 1 to November 23. The first seven weeks saw a growth of 3.1%, but the full period included a challenging six weeks, with consumer confidence affected by the Spending Review in October.

Gross margins at the group increased by 0.4 percentage points during the period as the group focused on controlling its markdowns and promotional activity.

Investec analyst Katharine Wynne said she had reduced her pre-tax profit forecast for the current year from £3.5m to £2.8m.

Seymour Pierce analyst Freddie George maintained his pre-tax profit forecast for the current year of £3m.