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Laura Ashley profits hit by forex losses

FASHION and homewares retailer Laura Ashley said it was hopeful of an improved second-half performance yesterday after first-half profit was dented by foreign exchange losses.<br /><br />The firm posted a pre-tax profit of &pound;1.1m for the 26 weeks to 1 August, a fall of 77 per cent, attributed to currency losses of &pound;5.5m.<br /><br />Total sales did, however, increase 6.3 per cent to &pound;127.8m, with growth in the company&rsquo;s main categories of furniture, fashion, home accessories, and decorating. Online sales were up 36 percent.