Overseas issues hit Laura Ashley profits

Overseas issues hit Laura Ashley profits

Retailer Laura Ashley reported strong growth in its UK market, but saw a difficult first half for its overseas business, which includes its licensing arm and 296 franchised stores in 30 territories.

Like-for-like sales in the UK rose 7% in the six months to August 1 thanks to strong sales of decorating items, home accessories and furniture.

But overseas revenues, which account for 8.4% of group sales, plunged 31.5% due to the weak Japanese yen and political turmoil in Russia and Ukraine.

Half-year profits edged down to £8.4m from £8.5m a year earlier.

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