The markets mulled the latest victim of the Allders collapse last night as Dolcis-to-Bay Trading retail group Alexon warned that £3 million would be wiped off its yearly profits.

Alexon, which had 118 concessions within Allders outlets, has already taken a £2.2 million hit to cover monies owed and write-downs on stock and fixtures.

The exceptional items revealed yesterday left profits for the year to January 29 at £26.9 million, compared with £29.4 million a year earlier, the company said.

It added that it was too early to calculate the exact scale of business lost from the break-up of Allders, but it estimated future operating profits would be around £3 million lower in future years.

Chief executive John Osborn said: "We do not know the exact scale of the business lost from the break-up of the Allders Group. Our best estimate, however, is that operating profits will be some £3 million per annum lower in the current and future years as a consequence."

The blow to profits came on top of difficult trading conditions in which like-for-like sales fell 1.3 per cent in the last financial year across the group.

Dolcis ended the year with profits of £3.7 million, against £3 million previously, after strong sales of ladies' shoes and bags helped maintain sales and margins at the levels of a year earlier.

Bay Trading fell into the red - at £700,000 - following a nine per cent fall in like-forlike sales, although the company said action had already been taken to improve the design content and appeal of the ranges. It expected benefits from the initiatives to show through in the second half of the financial year.

Weak Christmas sales caused like-for-like sales in the menswear division to fall

2.4 per cent with profits of £2.5 million down £1.1 million on a year earlier.

Mr Osborn said that the results represented a " creditable performance in a difficult retail environment".

He added: "Our emphasis on innovative design and giving good value to our customers has enabled us to maintain a competitive edge in the markets in which we operate and we begin the new financial year well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead."

It emerged in February that discount clothing retailer Primark had bought one of the Midland branches of Allders.

The branch in Coventry, which employs 133 people, was one of six picked up by the group from administrators Kroll. However the Sutton Coldfield and Redditch stores faced a bleaker fate, with both closed towards the end of March.

Kroll has handed the buildings back to their landlords.