Laura Ashley has verified that its majority shareholder MUI Asia is talking about arrangements with its lender, Wells Fargo, to meet its “immediate funding requirements” and to ”draw down additional quantities to meet ongoing operating capital desires for the team in the brief to medium term”.
The retailer reported it welcomed the conversations, but pointed out: “If the team remains unable to accessibility the requisite degree of funding, then the company will want to take into account all proper selections.”
Team gross sales at Laura Ashley fell by 10.eight% for the 26 months to 31 December to £109.6m. It blamed a drop in full profits on “market headwinds” and “weaker client spending”, leading to “a drop in gross sales of greater ticket items”.
Having said that, in a buying and selling update issued more than the weekend, the business pressured that it was “well superior in producing its turnaround strategy”, and pointed out that gross sales were being flat for the 1st 7 months of this year.
Chairman Andrew Khoo reported: ”We acknowledge that latest buying and selling ailments, in line with the general British isles retail market place, have indeed been complicated. There is nonetheless a sturdy approach in area to convert the business around and the board of administrators is self-assured and optimistic that the latest appointment of Katharine Poulter will empower the business to execute this wide based system.
”The main shareholders have indicated their continued self-assurance in the business and are thoroughly supportive of the administration staff and execution of the transformation approach.”
Laura Ashley declared in January that its CEO and government director Kwan Cheong Ng will retire on 30 April. Poulter, who is presently main operating officer, will succeed Ng in May perhaps.