- Furniture and fashion-seller Laura Ashley swung to a loss in the first half of the year blaming weakness in its home furnishing division and a decline in online sales.

For the 52 weeks to 30 June 2019, the company reported a pre-tax loss of £14.3m, compared with a profit of £0.1m a year earlier as sales slipped to £232.5 from £257.2m. On a like-for-like total retail sales fell 3.5%, with fashion like-for-like retail sales rising 9.2%.

'The primary causes for the year-on-year drop in profit have been the performance of Home Furnishing and that of our website following a re-platforming exercise which took place in November 2018,' the company said.

Online sales fell by 14.2% for the year.

Trading for the seven weeks to 17 August 2019 was performing in line with management expectations, the company said.

At 9:36am: [LON:ALY] Ashley Laura Holdings PLC share price was -0.2p at 1.63p

Story provided by