BOSSES at fashion firm Laura Ashley announced plans to slash up to 130 jobs in a cost-cutting drive yesterday as the company's fortunes continued to dive.
Managers at the famous textile company announced that they will axe 90 posts across the firm's two factories in mid-Wales over the next four or five weeks.
The remaining cuts will be made at Laura Ashley head office in London, where up to 40 workers will find themselves without a job.
Workers earmarked for redundancy at the company's factories in Newtown and Carno are expected to be told of their fate today.
They are not thought to be represented by a trade union.
The announcement was the latest move in an ongoing job cull, reducing Laura Ashley's British workforce by 450 over the last 18 months.
Managers argued that the redundancies are necessary to mitigate the effect of "challenging conditions in the retail marketplace."
In a statement, the firm said that the jobs would go "over the next four to five weeks, subject to a period of consultation with those employees who are potentially affected by the proposals."
In previous decades, Laura Ashley enjoyed great favour with the British public. But the brand has fallen behind the times, recording pre-tax profits of just Â£3.1 million in April, with a third of that figure coming from property transactions.
The firm, renowned for its floral fabrics, produces home furnishings as well as women's and girl's clothing ranges.
Increasing sales of furniture have offset a decline in Laura Ashley clothing, but have failed to halt an overall dive in turnover to Â£283.5 million from Â£292 million in 2002, the company revealed.
Around 4,000 people currently work for Laura Ashley in Britain.
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