×
33 051
Fashion Jobs
FOOT LOCKER
Technical Program Manager
Permanent · Milwaukee
FOOT LOCKER
Overnight Assistant Operations Manager
Permanent · Miami
FOOT LOCKER
Overnight Assistant Operations Manager
Permanent · East Rutherford
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · San Pablo
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · El Paso
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Oklahoma City
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Dallas
CLARKS
Account Executive Channel Sales
Permanent · Waltham
CLARKS
Merchandise Planning Manager
Permanent · Waltham
RALPH LAUREN
Polo Factory Store - Store Selling Manager
Permanent · Jeffersonville
CHICO'S
District Manager - Philadelphia (Chico's)
Permanent · POTTSTOWN
CHICO'S
District Manager (Soma) Northeast
Permanent · TRUMBULL
AEROPOSTALE
Cost Accounting Manager, Sparc Group
Permanent · Lyndhurst
NORDSTROM INC
Asset Protection Agent
Permanent · Portland
NORDSTROM INC
Asset Protection Agent Burbank Center Rack
Permanent · Burbank
NORDSTROM
Loss Prevention Agent - Bellevue
Permanent · Bellevue
NORDSTROM
Area Manager - Dubuque, ia
Permanent · Dubuque
NORDSTROM
Asset Protection - Agent - Santa Monica Place
Permanent · Santa Monica
NORDSTROM INC
Asset Protection - Security Ambassador - The Mall at Short Hills
Permanent · Millburn
NORDSTROM
Loss Prevention Agent The Orchards Rack - $200 Sign-on Bonus
Permanent · Westminster
NORDSTROM INC
Asset Protection - Security Ambassador - Thousand Oaks Janss Mrkt Rack
Permanent · Thousand Oaks
ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES
Senior Business Analyst, Global Comms & Lauder Family
Permanent · New York
Published
Feb 15, 2018
Reading time
2 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Laura Ashley issues profit warning despite fashion improvement

Published
Feb 15, 2018

Some retailers have been buoyant in the past year. Some have endured a tough time but maintained an upbeat stance… and then there’s Laura Ashley.


Laura Ashley



The fashion-to-furnishings specialist on Thursday issued a profit warning saying full-year earnings would be less than analysts expect as the retail backdrop remains challenging and the first half saw sales and profits dropping.

Let’s look at the figures. In the 26 weeks to December 31, total group sales fell 7.7% to £134.7 million from £146 million after it closed 25 stores. Comparable retail sales were down 0.5%. Pre-tax profit plunged to £4.3 million from £7.8 million and it saw margin pressures due to the weakness of the British pound. The gross margin fell to 38.5% from 41.4%.

At least its online sales rose, by 5.1%, to reach £26.9 million from £25.6 million a year ago.

And its fashion division (which now accounts for only 17% of its total but includes both fashion and beauty sales) offered a crumb of comfort. They fell only slightly in the UK, despite the closure of six stores there. They were down 1%, while comparable sales were up 1.2%, beating the overall comp sales figure for the company. Laura Ashley said it’s “very encouraged by reaction to the new season collections and the progress which our fashion made during the second half.”

But that couldn’t disguise a first half that was generally very weak. The firm’s chairman, Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng, said that “trading conditions continued to be challenging” and after a review of what’s likely to happen in the rest of the fiscal year to June 30, it doesn’t expect those challenges to ease.

So is there any cause for optimism? Well, as we’ve seen, fashion is gaining a bit of ground and the online rise was a bright spot. And with the company launching a new digital platform during the current half, it expects “that this will help us to deliver further growth with its enhanced functionality.”

Internationally it’s expecting a better performance in the future too. The firm has already announced the termination of its licensing agreement with Aeon Holdings in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, that will take place in September. On Thursday it said that this “gives us the opportunity to develop the brand presence ourselves in these territories through a licensing and online model. We expect that this model will be profitable as the brand is well established and respected.”

It’s also going to continue to develop its international presence and “explore new partnership opportunities” with a brand new Thailand license the result of this. It’s also expanding the number of platforms its website is available on in China and those platforms have seen “encouraging” growth so far.

Copyright © 2021 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.