Strong trading over Christmas means fashion and homewares business Laura Ashley now expects full year pre-tax profit to be “significantly higher” than previously expectated.

The retailer said business had been better than expected since it last updated in mid-September, when there was already growing confidecne in the full-year outlook.

Laura Ashley reported: “Since then the business has performed better than anticipated. Based on this strong like-for-like performance over Christmas and early January we now expect full year pre-tax profit to be significantly higher than earlier expectations.”

The retailer will release full year results at the end of March.