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Laura Ashley shares tumble 20% amid fresh profit warning

Laura Ashley has seen its shares tumble 20% in early trading after it issued a profit warning indicating figures will fall “significantly below market expectations”.

While at the time of writing shares have recovered slightly and now sit at 9.6% down from opening, the news follows the release of its half-year update where it reported it made zero profit before tax for the last six months of 2018, and total group sales decreased £11.8m to £122.9m, compared with the same period in 2017.

The company which operates 156 stores across the UK said that trading conditions during the third quarter of 2019 had been “very demanding”.

In a short statement Laura Ashley said: “Trading conditions have been very demanding over the third quarter. The board of the company have reviewed the revised full-year forecasts for the year ending 30 June 2019 and expect the results to be significantly below market expectations.”

At the end of last year the company closed 40 of its UK stores and announced plans to expand its Chinese business.

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