October 14, 2019 / 6:54 AM / 3 months ago

Laura Ashley CFO to leave retailer after two decades

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Laura Ashley store in Kiev, Ukraine, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

(Reuters) - Clothing and furnishing retailer Laura Ashley Holdings Plc (ALY.L) said on Monday it had named Sagar Mavani as its chief financial officer, replacing Seán Anglim who has been with the company since 1998. Mavani’s appointment comes at a time when the company is struggling with poor performance in its home furnishings business and a decline in online sales. The company swung to a full-year pretax loss of almost 10 million pounds ($12.57 million) earlier this year. Anglim, who is also joint chief operating officer of the company, will step down by the end of the year. Mavani joined the company as group financial controller last year.

Named after the Welsh designer who founded the company in the 1950s, Laura Ashley was a favorite of Princess Diana in its 1980s heyday, but has struggled to stay relevant in recent years as its floral, frilled and ruffles-heavy outfits fell out of fashion.

Another victim of the gloom that has shrouded Britain’s retail sector, sales at Laura Ashley have been hit by store closures, a dampening consumer mood and the termination of a license agreement with a Japanese partner.

However, there have been signs of a resurgence in interest in its styles this year as it reported rising like-for-like sales in its fashion business in August.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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