Fashion and footwear retailer Alexon on Tuesday celebrated a huge jump in first half pre-tax profit to £8.5 million from £3.9m in the year-ago period and said sales for the second half were on target.

The company said in a statement sales climbed 8.7 per cent to £182.4m from £167.8m in the period, with same-store sales up 4.8 per cent and operating profit up 73 per cent to £9.9m from £5.7m.

Same-store sales at its Dolcis shoe chain rose almost 10 per cent while its operating loss narrowed to £900,000 from £1.5m in 2001. For its Alexon brands, operating profit soared to £9.1m £7.7m and same-store sales rose three per cent.

In March, the company posted full-year pre-tax profit growth of more than 100 per cent as solid performances from its Envy and Bay Trading units sent profits rocketing to £20.7m.