Bonham Industries, the private investment vehicle of Laura Ashley chairman Dr Khoo Kay Peng, has increased its stake in the UK retailer to nearly 25%.

In papers filed with the London Stock Exchange, Laura Ashley said Bonham had purchased 50,000 ordinary shares at an average price of 23 pence per share, increasing the company's stake to 183,820,822 shares, representing 24.97% of the company.

In September, Laura Ashley announced a 113% increase in first-half net profits to GBP6.4m (US$13.2m), thanks in part to an increase in dress sales.