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Debenhams sees like-for-like sales rise by 1.9%

Tuesday January 12th 2016

Debenhams has said it achieved a strong Christmas trading performance which meant that group like-for-like sales grew by 1.9% year-on-year in the 19 weeks to 9 January 2016.

The department store chain said less discounting and a lower level of promotional activity led to full price sales growth of 5% in the period as trade was supported by a planned reduction in stock levels across clothing, particularly in weather-sensitive categories.

Online sales climbed by 12.1% boosted by continuing service improvements. Click and collect penetration peaked at 46% in the pre-Christmas period and there was strong growth in premium delivery services.

Internationally, Debenhams performed in line with expectations, with Magasin du Nord in Denmark delivering a record Christmas.

As planned, five new stores opened between September and November in Bradford, Wandsworth, Rugby, Beverley and Newport.

Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams, said: "We have traded well in the first 19 weeks of the financial year with a strong performance over peak resulting in a record Christmas. This performance is evidence that our strategy is working with our customers finding our mix of products and brands both compelling and great value for money. The further improvements to our service proposition and our online presentation have delivered strong multi-channel sales growth, building on the progress we saw last year."

Debenhams said the results mean that it remains on track to deliver full year profits in line with market expectations.