Furniture sales ‘flourished’ as the depth of ‘choice and diversity of style’ sees continued to growth for retail chain Laura Ashley.

According to its full final results for the 74 weeks to 30 June 2016, Furniture sales increased by 2.1% on last year, with like-for-like sales up by 4.3% - representing, and joint leader, 30% of all UK sales.

The Home Accessories sector, also representing 30% of UK business, saw sales grow by 3.4%, with like-for-like performance up by 6.8%.

On a whole, total UK retail sales grew 35.8% to £363.2m from £267.4m on last year (over a 53 week period), whilst online sales surged to £73.5m, up by 51.5%, with like-for-like sales rising by 15.7%.

Laura Ashley reported a reduction within its property portfolio, with five new stores opening and 18 closed, reducing total selling space by 4.2% to 729,000sq ft across 192 UK stores.

On a group basis, total sales for the 74 week period were £400.9m compared with the 53 week period last year at £303.6m. Like-for-like sales grew 4.1%, whilst total online sales swelled to £73.5m, with like-for-likes up 15.7%.

Group pre-tax profit – excluding exceptional items - resulted in £25.8m, up from £22.9m recorded in 2015.

Commenting on the results, Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng, Chairman, said: “I am pleased with the overall performance of the business. Continued like - for - like growth in the UK market, boosted by the good performance of our digital channel, is encouraging.

“In a time of uncertainty for retail and the global economy at large, I am optimistic and confident that Laura Ashley will remain a business with solid foundations to withstand challenges as they arise.”