Clothing and footwear retail group Alexon - which owns brands such as Dolcis and Bay Trading - says its full-year profits will be lower than last year, after continuously poor sales.

The group's like-for-like sales for the 23 weeks ended 8 January fell 1.7 per cent compared to the previous year, despite better gross margins. Like-for-like sales for the nine weeks to 8 January dropped 2.9 per cent.

Sales within the Alexon Brands and Dolcis divisions have been relatively strong, while men's wear lines and Bay Trading have been disappointing over the winter period so far.

The group said that although trading had been slow in the pre-Christmas period, a good start to its winter sales had led it to predict operating profits for the year ended 29 January of around £31.5 million compared to the year-ago figure of £32.6m.

Alexon Group Plc operates approximately 665 stores under the Style, Envy, Bay Trading and Eastex names.