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Debenhams defies high street gloom

Debenhams has announced pre-tax profits of £125.3 million for the six months to 26 February, up almost 10% from the £114.5million for the same period last year.

CITY & CORPORATE

Debenhams defies high street gloom

Debenhams has announced pre-tax profits of £125.3 million for the six months to 26 February, up almost 10% from the £114.5million for the same period last year.

The retailer also reported that it will be reintroducing a dividend for shareholders.

One of the biggest sellers was cosmetics and perfumes, with an increase in market share from 26.8% to 28.1%. Online sales jumped by 82.4%, boosted by a new mobile iPhone app which lets customers buy Debenhams products from where ever they are.

Debenhams also said that there were signs that commodity prices such as cotton might fall which would benefit both consumers and retailers in terms of pricing.

Rob Templeman, Debenhams CEO, said: “We are pleased with the performance of the business in the first half. The trading environment has been difficult but our focus on profit and cash generation has continued to deliver returns. Debenhams has now produced six consecutive halves of pre-tax profit growth in what has been a consistently challenging retail climate.”

In separate news, Debenhams announced that Templeman will be retiring in the autumn and will be replaced by the company's current deputy chief executive, Michael Sharp.
 

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