The chief executive of Debehams has stated he is "pleased" with the chain's gross transaction value increase of 1.3 per cent in difficult trading conditions, and has pledged that the store will continue to focus on product design, quality and value heading into 2009.
Preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending August 30th also showed that like-for-like sales were down slightly by 0.9 per cent. Headline profit before tax was £110.1 million (2007: £131.4 million). Net debt was down to £994 million.
Debenhams made market share gains in all major clothing categories, with a total clothing share gain of 0.3 per cent (source: TNS, 26 weeks to August 17th).
The Designers at Debenhams range put in a strong performance, while Debenhams Direct saw sales rise by 60.8 per cent.
Seven new department stores were opened during the period, as well as ten new international franchise stores.
"The market share gains, alongside our strategic objectives of focusing on product design, quality and value, demonstrate that our products are finding favour with customers," said chief executive Rob Templeman.
"In 2009, we will drive the business forward by continuing to focus on product design, quality and value and on the important differentiation provided by our exclusive Designers with Debehamds ranges. At the same time we will invest prudently in higher returning projects such as new stores."