Laura Ashley has rewarded investors with a £7.5m bonus dividend to show its “appreciation to the shareholders for their continued support”.

The pay-out follows the home good and clothing retailer’s decision to sell its stake in menswear retailer Moss Bros last week. At the time the retailer said it would use the money raised to “enhance the financial position of Laura Ashley and for additional working capital”.

Laura Ashley’s like-for-like sales edged down 0.7% in the 19 weeks to December 7.

In September last year, Laura Ashley revealed that first half pre-tax profit slipped 10.8% to £7.8m, including exceptional items, after a first half that was “challenging” because of the weather.