Furniture retailer Laura Ashley have seen like-for-like sales drop by 4.2% in the 26 weeks to 31 December, as the retailer battles with tough high street conditions.
The fashion division sales were more optimistic, climbing 11.8% on a like-for-like basis, whilst furniture sales plummeted by 14.4%.
Chairman of Laura Ashley, Khoo Kay Peng said on Wednesday that a number of new Laura Ashley tea rooms and hotels are to open this year.
In December 2018, the Press Association said that retailer had 156 stores by the end of 2018, we see around 40 store closures, as the company slims down their estate.
The Asian market is the main focal point for the group’s international expansion seeing more store openings in Thailand and India.
Kay Peng said, “In our drive for international growth, we are committed to preserve the inspirational and distinctive identity of the much-loved Laura Ashley brand.
“Having eliminated all of our long-term debts, we are now better placed to deal with the current headwinds and to move the business forward.”
Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald said, “We remain of the view that the brand has potential for further international expansion, coupled with additional online growth.”
In early morning trading shares slumped 4%.