Fashion and furnishings retailer Laura Ashley Holdings Plc today (16 December) posted a 1.4% rise in same-store sales so far in the second half of its financial year, as new fashion ranges continue to buoy demand.

But it said total UK retail sales were impacted by the closure of under-performing stores, falling 1.7% year-on-year in the 19 weeks to 10 December. The retailer has closed five unprofitable stores this year in addition to the 14 stores last year.

Laura Ashley said e-commerce sales grew 9.0%, helped by the addition of new home furnishing ranges.

The retailer in September recorded a 28% hike in first-half profit to GBP7.3m and a 3.5% rise in UK like-for-like sales.