The fashion and home furnishings retailer maintained its interim dividend at
The company posted a pretax profit of
Furniture sales were down 2.2%. Despite the weaker showing from this segment, the company said it was encouraged by the performance of new products that were introduced this season. It has also launched new ranges in the second half, which it said will add variety to its collections and encourage sales.
Home accessories sales were up 2.9%, driven by strong performances from lighting products and its gifts and accessories ranges.
Decorating sales were up 0.8%, with the best performing products being ready-made curtains and its paint ranges.
Fashion sales declined 2.6%. Laura Ashley said it was encouraged by the success of many of its ranges, and expressed optimism that this success would continue in coming seasons as it improves the design and quality of its products.
Its international business saw growth of 14%, the company said, as it opened new stores in
Laura Ashley launched its second hotel at the end of July, The Belsfield, in Windermere. The company said that customer, social and press response to the new
In the five weeks to
"We will continue to develop our international presence as well as focusing on our
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