But like-for-likes fall
Upholstery specialist Land of Leather revealed sales up 12.8 per cent but like-for-likes down 4.6 per cent, for the 13 weeks to January 28.

However, the company expects first-half profits to be ahead of last year and full-year profits to be in line with market expectations, despite the higher costs incurred by 13 store openings in the period. This is because of strong sales before December and substantial improvement in gross margin.

Sales for the 26 weeks to January 28 rose 22 per cent, but like-for-likes were down 0.7 per cent.

The retailer had previously indicated that the second quarter would be more challenging, because of strong comparatives of 10.5 per cent last year. In addition, customer shopping patterns were affected by the loss of two bank holiday trading days and a slowdown in consumer spending following the recent interest rate rises in November and January.

Land of Leather chief executive Paul Briant said: 'The second-quarter sales reflect what have been challenging January Sales for Land of Leather. However, we remain confident in our strong product offer, which represents exceptional value despite market conditions that are likely to be very challenging.'

The upholstery chain opened seven new stores in the second quarter, bringing the total to 94, with plans to open two more at Easter.