Laura Ashley profits and sales plummeted at the full-year mark, which the retailer attributed to challenging trading conditions and the weak pound.

The fashion and homewares retailer, which issued its second profit warning in the space of six months last week, reported a 66% year-on-year tumble in profit before tax and exceptional terms to £8.4m in the 52 weeks to June 30.

The retailer posted a 31% plunge in group sales to £277m and 72% slump in statutory pre-tax profit during the period.

These hefty sales and profit declines were exacerbated by being comparative to a 74-week period the previous financial year.

Laura Ashley like-for-like sales, which are compared to a 52-week trading period the previous year, fell 3.1%.

Sales and profits fell across all of the retailer’s divisions except online like-for-like sales, which increased 5.6%. Total online revenue dropped 22% to £57.3m.

The retailer closed 25 UK stores during the period, taking its overall bricks-and-mortar estate to 167 outlets.

The bulk of the store closures were Homebase concessions, which were shuttered following Bunnings taking ownership of the business.

The retailer’s UK retail sales plummeted 31% during the period, which Laura Ashley attributed to Homebase and other store closures.


Chairman Dr Khoo Kay Peng said: “Trading conditions have been challenging for the year ended 30 June 2017. The impact of weak sterling has also contributed to the overall fall in profit which the group has experienced.

“We are focused on addressing the challenges which our business has encountered over the past year and are confident that we are well-positioned to overcome them.

“We are confident that the enduring nature and heritage of this much-loved British brand as well as the execution of our business strategies will help position the group to grow and develop over the years to come.”