Fashion retailer Laura Ashley has reported losses before tax of £4m for the half-year period ended 31 December 2019.
The retailer attributed the “dissapointing” loss to lower sales in home furnishings and “Brexit uncertainty”, and said revenue disruption was also caused by changes with its Japanese franchise partner.
The retailer also saw a 10.4% decrease in like-for-like sales, as total group sales fell to £109.6m compared with £122.9m in 2018.
Additionally, Laura Ashley reported a 10.8% fall in group sales due to the closure of three stores and “weaker consumer’s confidence” during the period. The retailer said online sales also decreased by 15.5% to £22.2m.
Laura Ashley said: “There have been market challenges for our business which have impacted these results during the current financial year. The decline in total revenue was due to the market headwinds and weaker consumer spending during the period, which led to a decline in sales of bigger ticket items.
“Whilst these results are disappointing, we believe that with the right focus and support, Laura Ashley has a strong future and can be successful again.”
It added: “In the autumn of 2019, we carried out a strategic review of the business to set the future direction of the company and return Laura Ashley to the great British brand that is known and cherished around the world. This includes reconnecting with our traditional values and our strong British heritage.”
Last month, Laura Ashley announced the appointment of Katherine Poulter as its new CEO and executive director.
She succeeds Kwan Cheong Ng, who will retire as chief executive officer of the company. Cheong Ng will remain as executive director until 30 April 2020, after which time he will become a non-executive director of the board.