LAMBERT Haworth, the former East Lancashire footwear company that made hundreds of people redundant in the 1990s, has issued a profits warning.

Shares in the company slumped by 20 per cent to a new low of 129p within hours of an announcement by chairman Robert Garfit that sales were 10 per cent down and that profit margins were under pressure.

Lambert Haworth, which now has its headquarters in London, concentrates on shoes, soft furnishings and home accessories, most of it manufactured abroad.

But in a statement to the Stock Exchange, the company admitted trading conditions had deteriorated to the extent that first half pre-tax profits were likely to be substantially lower than last year.

Lambert Haworth said it would be closing part of its homeware operation, Global Homeware, which would lead to exceptional costs of £450,000.

Lambert Haworth's warehousing facility remains at Burnley with a factory shop in Rawtenstall.