Aurora Fashions Profit, Sales Increase Over Holiday Period

Aurora Fashions, the privately-owned operator of U.K. fashion chains Coast, Warehouse and Oasis, said same-store sales surged 13 percent over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Total sales rose 13.5 percent in the five weeks through Dec. 31, a spokeswoman for the retailer said in an e-mail. Gross profit climbed 9.2 percent.

Aurora, whose 766 U.K. outlets compete with Hennes & Mauritz AB (HMB) and billionaire Philip Green’s Topshop stores, said that while shopper numbers were down in the run-up to the peak period, Christmas trading was “strong.” Chief Executive Officer Mike Shearwood has added a 90-minute delivery service in the U.K. to lure fashion-conscious young shoppers.

Next Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest clothing retailer, said today that November and December trading had been “disappointing” and warned of slack profit growth next year as the euro-zone debt crisis weighs on consumer spending.

Aurora has 1,278 outlets in 33 countries including the U.S, Denmark, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, with total sales of more than 500 million pounds ($782 million), according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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