FTSE LIVE: Pound unmoved by Johnson and Merkel Brexit talks; Laura Ashley slumps into the red; Ocado has close shave with fire next to warehouse

  • Laura Ashley said it made a pre-tax loss of £14.3million in the year to June 30  
  • Despite seeming progress on Brexit talks, the pound is flat in early trading 
  • Ocado said there was a ‘small fire’ outside its Erith distribution centre overnight 

‘The last twelve months have proved to be a difficult trading period for the group and indeed for the retail sector as a whole,’ said Laura Ashley chairman Andrew Khoo today, as the fashion and homewares firm revealed a £14million loss in its last financial year. 

Its floral home furnishings appear to have fallen out of fashion, driving a near 10 per cent decline in group sales.    

Meanwhile, Ocado said there was a ‘small fire’ just outside its customer fulfilment centre in Erith yesterday evening. The company, which lost another of its distribution centres to a large blaze earlier this year, confirmed there is no damage to the building and just minor disruption to some orders due to the need to evacuate.  

Despite the Prime Minister making seeming progress in Brexit talks with Angela Merkel last night, sterling remains in the red with £1 buying $1.2122 or €1.0940 in early trading on Thursday. 




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