RETAIL UPDATE: Debenhams? profits increase

Department store posts interim figures for 26 weeks ending February 28th.
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Debenhams has seen its headline profit before tax grow by 10.7 per cent for the 26 weeks ending February 28th, reaching £104.2 miilion.

The department store giant also continued its 18 month trend of market share gains and said that there was much to look forward to in the second half of the year.

“The increase in profitability in the first half is a considerable achievement given the difficult trading conditions across the retail sector and reflects our commitment to producing stylish, quality products at exceptional value, as well as a continuing focus on the levers that drive cash margin,” said chief executive Rob Templeman.

“We are pleased with the performance of our own bought ranges and, in particular, Designers at Debenhams, where design excellence and enhanced product quality at great value are continuing to prove popular with consumers. This has led to further market share gains.”

Five new department stores opened as planned in year to date, with a further nine stores due to open in the next two years. Eight new international franchise stores were also opened.

“There is much to look forward to in the second half, particularly in relation to the development of own bought product ranges with the expansion of some existing brands and the launch of a number of exciting new brands throughout the store at the end of the summer,” Templeman added.

“The second half has started well with improvements in gross transaction value, like for like sales and gross margin. That said, we remain cautious about the outlook for consumer confidence for the remainder of the year and we will continue to run the business accordingly, with an ongoing focus on cash profit.”

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