LONDON — Increased overhead costs and weak sales in Europe pulled Laura Ashley, the U.K. home furnishings and apparel company, into the red during the first half of the year.

The company said Wednesday that the net loss for the six months ended July 27 totaled $1.4 million versus a $2.6 million profit in the year-ago period. Sales rose 6.5 percent to $210 million, while same-store sales were flat. Dollar figures have been converted from the pound at current exchange rates.

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