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House of Fraser enjoys record Christmas

House of Fraser has posted a record Christmas with like-for-like sales increasing 8.5% in the five weeks to January 8, despite last month’s snow.

In delivering a strong performance, including a 30 basis points rise in margins, the retailer joined JD Sports in becoming one of a handful of retailers to post a strong set of results during the adverse weather. The snow has caused retailers such as womenswear group Alexon and Mothercare to issue profit warnings.

House of Fraser said its own brands, which include British brand Biba which it relaunched in September, and footwear and clothing label Pied à Terre, saw sales growth of over 50% while there was a strong performance from its brand partners including concessions.

“We have delivered another outstanding set of results despite recent extreme weather conditions. These clearly demonstrate the success of our strategy in the face of economic uncertainty.”

House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy

House of Fraser said its online store was its best performing store during the Christmas period with online sales surging 120%, helped by a 50% rise in the number of brands on the site.

House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy said: “We are very pleased with our Christmas trading performance as we have delivered another outstanding set of results despite recent extreme weather conditions. These clearly demonstrate the success of our strategy in the face of economic uncertainty.

“The past year has seen solid growth on the back of significant development and investment in our brands, our technology, our estate, and most importantly, our people. However the full effect of these investments will be seen in the year ahead. I am confident that the business will deliver its plans for the remainder of the financial year, and we are well placed to continue to grow during 2011.”

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