Clothing retailer Austin Reed has reported improved sales at its namesake chain, but reported less uplifting trading at the CC business.

For the 15 weeks ended 14 January 2006, same-store sales for its core chain, Austin Reed, improved 2.7%. Total sales, which include the Regent Street flagship store, were up 6.3% during the period.

Performance improved in men's formal and casual wear, accessories and women's wear, the company said.

It added: "…our strategy of focusing on full-price sales has delivered a further improvement in margins."

Same-store sales at CC fell 10.5%, while total sales dropped 17.8%. Margins, however, were ahead of last year, the company said.

The group's interim statement had said the autumn range needed more development and that the business was enhancing its design and buying staff.

"The full effect of these changes will not be seen until later in 2006," the company said.

"We are, however, encouraged by the customer reaction to the early deliveries of Spring 2006 products," it added.