Debenhams posts increase in first half profit
Department store chain Debenhams has increased its group pre-tax profit by 5.5% to £93.8 million in the first half of its financial year.
Group like-for-like sales were up 1.1% in the 26 weeks to 27 February while group EBITDA edged up 1.3% to £153 million. UK EBITDA rose by 3% to £125.5 million.
Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ outgoing chief executive, said: "A strong operational performance resulted in a record Christmas, and further growth in first half profits against a good performance in the prior year. Our customers are responding positively to our multi-channel strategy, finding our mix of products and brands both compelling and great value for money.”
International EBITDA declined by 5.8% to £27.5 million reflecting adverse currency movements.
As planned, five new stores opened between September and November 2015 in Bradford, Wandsworth, Rugby, Beverley and Newport. The retailer also closed its Cheltenham store due to a lease expiry.
Further multi-channel service improvements supported continued online growth with online sales growth of 10% and online EBITDA up 12% in the half. Orders on mobile devices continued to be the fastest-growing channel, representing almost 50% of online sales.
Sharp added: "Although there is plenty more to do, we are on track to deliver full year results in line with market expectations. When I leave the business later this year I am confident that it will be in a good position to deliver continued sustainable growth under a strong and capable management team."
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