Furniture and fashion retailer Laura Ashley like-for-likes grew 2.7% in the 19 weeks to December 11.

This represents a slow down compared to the 4.6% like-for-like growth clocked up in the year to date. Laura Ashley blamed a “sluggish economy and adverse weather conditions” for the “slower” growth in the second half.

Total UK retail sales increased by 1.3%, as the retailer reduced its store portfolio by 10 shops this year.

The retailer has opened two new stores and closed 12 in the year, and it continues to “streamline” its portfolio “in an effort to optimise profitability”. 

E-commerce sales jumped 28.7% as it continued to “enhance and improve” its online presence.

Laura Ashley added: “Despite the current economic uncertainty and adverse weather conditions in the UK, we remain confident that full year trading will be ahead of the Board’s expectations.”