• Net income fell 23% to GBP15.2m
  • Sales increased 0.3% to GBP285.9m

Laura Ashley said it recorded a "resilient" set of full-year results, despite reporting a decline in net profit following a "challenging" autumn.

The company today (29 March) said net income fell 23% over the year ended 28 January to GBP15.2m (US$24.1m). Profit before tax and exceptional items declined 2.5% to GBP18.8m. Sales increased 0.3% to GBP285.9m, while like-for-like sales increased 3.3%. UK retail sales fell 0.6% to GBP255m.

"A strong performance in the first half of the year was followed by a more challenging Autumn; we did however see a return to stronger trading towards the end of 2011 with a positive trend in like-for-like sales growth," said chairman Tan Sri Dr. K P Khoo.

UK fashion sales increased by 2.7% over the year, and were up 5.6% on a like-for-like basis. The company said in addition to building on the success of previous designs and shapes, "we continue to embrace fashions trends whilst ensuring that the Laura Ashley handwriting is maintained and enhanced".

It said despite higher supplier costs due to the increases in commodity costs, gross margin rates were maintained at last years levels.