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1st February 2010, London

Couture knitwear helps Dawson beat forecast

Leading cashmere business Dawson International expects its full year sales and profits to come in ahead of market forecasts after a strong fourth quarter at its UK and US knitwear businesses more than offset continued weakness in its home furnishings business. Dawson which owns the prestigious cashmere knitwear brand Barrie, says its UK knitwear business is said to have benefited from the timing of high margin sales to couture customers and this significantly improved margins in the final quarter. According to Dawson this is likely to have some negative impact on the first quarter of 2010 with the sales mix impact reversing. Dawson's US Knitwear business sustained sales and margins through the final quarter in spite of the fragile US economic environment. Sales of branded lines and overall margin levels were both stronger than expected. In contrast Dawson's private label home furnishings business experienced poor margins throughout the year with the significant decline in sterling compared with the US dollar impacting its cost of sales. Dawson says that while this improved somewhat in the second half of the year it is anticipated that the business will report a small loss overall.  Source: Sharecast

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