Home and fashion retailer Laura Ashley has posted a rise in like-for-like sales as it progressed with plans to shut unprofitable shops.

Like-for-likes advanced 1.4% in the 19 weeks to December 10, bringing the year to date improvement to 2.5%.

Total sales at Laura Ashley fell 1.7% year-on-year, mainly as a result of reshaping the store portfolio. Five unprofitable stores have been closed so far this year, on top of 14 last year.

Improvements to Laura Ashley’s online offer, including an enhanced upholstery and made-to-measure curtain range on an interactive platform, contributed to a 9% rise in ecommerce sales.