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Byline: Edited by GRAHAM HISCOTT

IN A LAURA TROUBLE Struggling chintzy chain Laura Ashley slumped PS14million in the red in the year to June.

The firm blamed a 9% fall in furniture sales, with decorating down 13.7%, as it tumbled from a slim PS100,000 profit the previous year. It marked the latest in a long run of rotten results for the retailer, which has been hammered by tough competition.

One bright spot was fashion, where sales rose 9.2%. Andrew Khoo - Laura Ashley's chairman and son of its major shareholder, Malaysian Chinese tycoon Khoo Kay Peng - insisted the chain had taken "active steps to listen to our customers and now believe we are on an appropriate recovery path".

Investors weren't as convinced, as Laura Ashley's share price initially fell sharply yesterday. It has a stock market value of less than PS14m.

Amy Higginbotham, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: "Laura Ashley's appeal continues to wilt."


BRIGHT SPOT Fashion sales rose

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2019
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