March 16, 2020 / 8:55 AM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 1-Laura Ashley says will need further funding boost

(Adds background on company, details from today’s statement)

March 16 (Reuters) - British retailer Laura Ashley warned on Monday it would need additional funding to meet its ongoing working capital requirements, just a month after saying it has access to sufficient cash to meet its immediate needs.

The clothing and furnishing retailer, which has been struggling with tough High Street conditions, added that it would need to “consider all appropriate options” if it fails to secure funding by the end of March for its turnaround plan.

The company said chief shareholder MUI Asia was “actively considering” an additional 10 million pounds ($12.4 million) credit facility and added that it was in advanced talks with a third-party lender for another 15 million pounds in funding.

The company is among a growing band of British retailers to encounter difficulties over the past year, with falling sales leading to store closures as customers shift to online shopping avenues.

Last month, Laura Ashley said its pretax losses more than doubled in the first half of the year due to weak demand for home furnishing products.

Shares of the retail firm, which were worth more than 200 pence per share in its 1990s heyday and 30 pence in 2015, are now worth less than 1 pence. ($1 = 0.8093 pounds) (Reporting by Muvija M and Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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