House of Fraser (HoF) has recorded an EBITDA loss of £3.4m in its first quarter results, despite an overall like-for-like sales increase of 2%.
The department store retailer, which does not usually report first quarter results but has taken the step this year ahead of completion of the company’s sale to Chinese department store group Nanjing Xinjiekou, said the loss was “in line with management expectations”. The first quarter is typically its slowest period of the year, HoF added.
It did not reveal sales figures, but said online operations continue to grow, increasing by 20.2% on the same period last year, and own brands performed well, jumping up by 7.7%.
HoF chief executive, John King, said: “We are pleased with the sales performance in the first quarter, particularly given the strong performance in this period last year. Both stores and web sales have delivered positive sales and margin growth, building on the growth seen in fiscal years 2014 and 2013.”
In April it was announced that HoF owner Highland Group had accepted an offer from Nanjing Xinjiekou to buy 89% of the company, in a deal that valued the company at £480m. The sale is expected to complete by the end of the summer.
The remaining 11% of the company is held by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who picked up the stake just prior to the deal between Highland and Nanjing Xinjiekou.