Fashion retailer Laura Ashley Holdings today warned its annual results would be significantly below market view after a challenging third quarter.

The news sent its stock price to an all-time low. 

Shares of the company, whose quintessential romantic designs reached their peak in the 1970s and were at a time a favourite of Princess Diana, fell as much as 21.1% to 2.21 pence. 

Another victim of the gloom that has shrouded Britain's retail sector, sales at Laura Ashley have been hit by store closures, a dampening consumer mood and the termination of a license agreement with a Japanese partner. 

The company had already warned in February that its performance for the year would miss market expectations as consumers spent less. 

It also rebuffed an unsolicited takeover offer from investment firm Flacks Group back in February. 

"Trading conditions have been very demanding over the third quarter," the company, which owns about 190 stores in the UK, said in a short statement.

Laura Ashley's bleak forecast was in stark contrast to flooring retailer Carpetright and online fashion wear company Boohoo Group, both of which posted strong earnings updates this week.