Alexon Group profits hit by cold weather


Womenswear retailer Alexon Group has said its annual profits will be up to £1.5m lower than previously expected after the cold weather hit sales, sending its shares down 17%.

Like-for-like sales (which excludes new store openings) at the company were down 19.9% in the three weeks from 23 November to 18 December from last year.

Alexon added that as its customer base was "an older demographic", the weather had had a "disproportionate effect".

Alexon also owns Ann Harvey and Eastex.

Its other brands are Kaliko, Dash and Minuet Petite.

The company said it had informed its bank of the trading situation, and was in dialogue with its lender over a possible infringement of one of its banking covenants.

It added that the response of its lender had been "constructive and supportive".

As a result of the severe weather, the firm said it had been forced to close a number of its stores for several days in each of the last three weeks.

Sector-wide impact

Alexon is far from the only retailer to have been affected by the recent bad weather, with shares in a number of companies falling during Monday trading.

Shares in Argos-owner Home Retail Group fell 2.4%, while Next, Marks and Spencer and Tesco also saw their stock price decline.

Meanwhile, retail research group Synovate said that footfall across the UK on Saturday was down by nearly a quarter compared with the same time last year.

Alexon added that it was continuing to develop its online and mail order operations, and that "looking ahead this strategy will help mitigate the impact poor weather conditions has on our business".

It added: "Accordingly, we remain confident in the medium- and long-term prospects for the business."

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