Fashion retailer Laura Ashley announced soaring profits of 62.3% (£19.8 million) in 2007, in spite of what a company described as a “challenging trading environment”.
UK fashion retail sales were up 7.7%, although there was a drop of 4.4% on a like for like basis. Overall group sales rose by 5.6% to £237.6 million, while UK retail sales lifted 7.2% to £187.2m.
Best sellers in the spring / summer season were dresses, while coats were a very strong performer in the autumn / winter season.
Laura Ashley chairman KP Khoo said:
“The improved profitability is the result of our successful store expansion and realignment programme, improved product offering and continued focus on operational efficiency,” he added.
In an update on 2008 trading to date, the company reported total retail sales had increased by over 5% up to mid-March.