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The distribution company for Laura Ashley has entered administration along with the troubled retailer.

In a statement, Laura Ashley said that for the seven weeks to 13 March, trading had improved by 24%, but that the COVID-19 outbreak had pushed it to the brink.

The company has appointed administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which will handle the affairs of its distributor Premier Home Logistics (PHL).

Records show that PHL holds a range of O-licences across the UK, with its main operating centre in Coalville, Leicestershire where it is authorised for 33 HGVs.

In a statement the Group said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has had an immediate and significant impact on trading, and ongoing developments indicate that this will be a sustained national situation.

“Discussions with stakeholders have been ongoing and the directors are in advanced discussions for the provision of third-party debt funding.

“However, based on the company's revised cashflow forecasts and the increased uncertainty facing the group, the company expects that it will not be in a position to draw down additional funds from third party lenders in a timely manner sufficient to support working capital requirements.”

The last available set of financial results for PHL showed that revenues had fallen by 3.1% to £16.9m in the year ending 30 June 2018.

Pre-tax profit fell 3% to £800,000.