Shares in Laura Ashley were flat on the FTSE All Share in morning trading after the retailer said yesterday that it was confident of its full year trading, despite poor weather and continued economic uncertainty.

In the third quarter ended 11 December the company said that its UK retail sales had risen 1.3 per cent in the period, with like for like sales up 2.7 per cent.

So far this year the company said it had opened two new stores, but closed 12, in an effort to streamline its store portfolio and "optimise profitability".

Laura Ashley said that it was experiencing slower like for like growth in the second half thanks to a "sluggish economy and adverse weather conditions".

But the company was not downbeat, saying, "Despite the current economic uncertainty and adverse weather conditions in the UK, we remain confident that full year trading will be ahead of the Board's expectations."

By 09:35 shares in Laura Ashley were flat on the FTSE All Share at 19.50 pence per share.