Debenhams, the UK’s second largest department stores chain, reported better than expected first-half profit.
The retailer posted pre-tax profit of £88.9 million in the last six months, a 4.3 percent increase compared to a year ago. The results were far better than what the company had forecast of £84.5 million.
Earnings per share increased by 5.4% to 5.9p.
Like-for-like sales for the firm climbed by 1.3 percent. This was driven by refocusing of promotional strategy and new online delivery options. Debenhams also said that partnerships with fashion designers Ben de Lisi and Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant also helped boost sales.
Michael Sharp, Chief Executive of Debenhams, commented on the results:
”I am pleased with the good progress we have made against the strategic priorities we set out last year. We have improved our multi‐channel offer and successfully introduced the premium delivery options that we promised for the important peak period, which met with a positive response from our customers.
“The continued refocusing of our promotional strategy delivered a strong increase in full price sales, an improvement in value perception and enabled us to end the half with an improved stock position. Overall we delivered a good first half performance despite a difficult clothing season in Autumn and we are on track to achieve full year expectations.”
“Looking forward, our customers tell us they are feeling a little more optimistic about the economic outlook, but they remain cautious. Accordingly we are continuing to plan prudently in the near term, while remaining focused on our strategic priorities, and are continuing to invest to ensure that our business is well‐positioned to drive sustainable growth in the longer term.”