Laura Ashley lends colour to the high street as trading flourishes

 
Kasmira Jefford
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LAURA Ashley, the British home interiors and fashion designer, has continued to buck the gloom on the high street, reporting a strong boost in sales yesterday.

The chain said total sales climbed by 4.1 per cent in the first 18 weeks of the year to 2 June, while like-for-like revenues jumped by 5.4 per cent.

Strong sales were driven in part by improvement to the Laura Ashley website, which has started showcasing its full range of furniture for the first time.

Online sales in turn increased by 18.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

It launched a full mobile website in the period as well as an e-commerce website that can be used by its French customers.

The company, best known for its floral prints, remained bullish in its outlook for the year saying in a statement that “its well-established brand, high-quality product offering and strong balance sheet will ensure the like-for-like sales growth trend continues across the retail business for the rest of 2012”.

Shares in the firm remained unchanged at 23p yesterday.