Floral homewares and fashion retailer Laura Ashley like-for-like sales decreased 0.7% in the 19 weeks to December 7.

Total retail sales decreased by 2.0% year-on-year. E-Commerce sales edged up 1%.

For the full year to December 7, total sales fell 2.1% and like-for-like sales decreased 1.6%.

Laura Ashley said: “Some significant new licensing agreements have been signed this year which will benefit Group profits next year albeit licensing revenue is forecast to decline this year by 16%.

“Christmas and January combined is a key trading time for the Group, with much of the second half profitability generated during this period.”

The retailer opened two stores in the year and closed six. Internationally, 23 franchise stores were opened, taking the total number of franchise stores to 289.