Fashion and homeware retailer Laura Ashley Holdings Plc today (4 June) said higher online sales have helped it to a 6.2% rise in UK retail sales in the first 17 weeks of its current financial year.

The company, which operates 229 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland, said like-for-like sales were up by 5.3% in the period to 29 May.

Online sales rose 74% while mail order sales declined by 26% - giving a combined rise of 42% in the direct sales channel.

The company said in an interim statement that it remains "confident of continued growth in 2010," despite the current economic uncertainties.
 
"Although at an early stage in the year, we expect full year trading to be in line with expectations," it added.