High-street clothing and shoe group Alexon has reported a negative January trading update on a mixed performance of its brands.

Same-store sales for the 23 weeks ended 8 January slipped 1.7% from last year, on stronger gross margins.

For the 9 weeks ended 8 January, same-store sales were down 2.9% from a year ago.

Alexon commented: "The pattern of trade was similar to last year with sluggish pre-Christmas sales being followed by a strong start to the winter sale.

"There was a mixed performance across the group's division - whereas Alexon brands and Dolcis performed soundly, men's wear was soft and Bay Trading poor."

The company added: "Stock levels are under control and in line with plan."

Alexon expects full-year 2005 operating profit before interest and goodwill amortisation to be at least GBP31.5m (US$55.7m) compared to GBP32.6m last year.