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Alexon sees strong performance of Eastex brand, interim results

Sep '05
Fashion retailer Alexon Group plc announces Interim Results for the 26 weeks ended 30 July, 2005. These results have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that are expected to be applicable to the 2005/06 full year financial statements. Comparative figures have been restated accordingly.

As permitted, the interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the UK listing rules and not in accordance with IAS 34 “Interim Financial Reporting”.

Key Points
- Overall sales of £197.7m (2004: £197.9m) and like for like sales down 1 percent;
- Operating profit of £7.8m (2004: £10.9m); ?? Basic earnings per share of 9.45p (2004:13.74p);
- Interim dividend declared of 3.00p per Ordinary Share (2004: 2.83p);
- Share buyback programme continued with 980,000 shares purchased for cancellation for an aggregate sum of £2.7m.

Alexon Brands
Alexon Brands put in a sound performance on its continuing business, with like for like sales growth of 2.8 percent, coupled with a modest increase in gross margins. The operating profit for the half was £9.2 million (UK GAAP £9.5m) compared to £10.1 million (UK GAAP £10.3m) in the prior year.

The Division was hit by the loss of 73 Allders concessions, which impacted at the beginning of the second quarter, and increased concession commission rates. Profits were also affected by increased host store commission rates. The strongest performances by brand came from Eastex, which is geared to the older customer and is particularly resilient in a tougher retail climate, and Alex & Co., which has successfully replaced the eponymous Alexon brand.

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