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Department store operator Debenhams profits down in first half

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 April 2014

British department store group Debenhams posted 24.5% lower group pre-tax profit of £85.2m in the first half, as against the prior year's £112.8m, as restated.

Debenhams

For the 26 weeks period ended 1 March 2014, profit attributable to owners of the parent slid year-on-year to £68.7m from £89.2m.

The chain's like-for-like sales rose by 1.5% year-on-year, driven mainly by 24.1% growth in online sales.

The UK stores' performance continues to be impacted by lower footfall due to the ongoing channel shift from stores to online.

During the period, two new UK stores were opened in Haverfordwest and Leamington Spa. Four new international franchise stores were opened.

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said, "In particular we are focused on building a more competitive multi-channel offer for our customers and improving the operational effectiveness of the overall business," Sharp added.

At the end of the first half, the UK store portfolio stood at 158 stores and international stores stood at 82.