Troubled fashion and furnishings group Laura Ashley on Thursday said it will axe a number of foreign stores in a bid to reduce its overseas losses.

The company will close six stores in Germany and five in France and will also reduce the number of new store openings.

Ashley will now open 16 new stores this fiscal year and added new outlets planned for next year were under review.

The firm currently has 203 UK stores and 67 in mainland Europe as well as 197 franchise outlets in two dozen countries and is looking to increase its franchised operations on the continent.

News of the store closings and retail expansion review came as the firm posted a seven per cent jump in October same-store sales amid a 17 per cent climb in fashion sales.