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Feb 16 (Reuters) - British fashion and homeware retailer Laura Ashley Holdings Plc said net pretax profit for the year ending in June 2017 would fall below market expectations, citing a softening market and rising cost pressure.
Shares in the company fell as much as 12 percent to 16.5 cents, their lowest since August 2011, in morning trade on the London Stock Exchange.
Laura Ashley said it continued to face challenges such as failure to meet sales and margin targets, maintain and raise its market share and to optimise its store portfolio.
British consumers reined in their spending last month, an industry survey showed last week, adding to signs that they are turning more cautious as last year’s Brexit vote pushes up inflation.
Official data last month showed British retail sales suffered their biggest slump in more than four years in December, denting what had been a promising fourth quarter.
Laura Ashley’s total group sales fell 2.5 percent to 146 million pounds, for the 26 weeks to Dec. 31, while like-for-like retail sales fell 3.5 percent in the period. (Reporting by Rahul.B and Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Gopakumar Warrier)