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Sales and profits up at House of Fraser

Like-for-like sales at House of Fraser edged up 0.9% in the year to 28 January, while profit before tax and exceptional items jumped 161% to £3.4m for the year.

Total gross transactional value for the department store group remained flat at £1.3bn. Profit after tax amounted to £14.7m, up from a loss of £18.4m the prior year.

EBITDA however dropped £2.7m to £63.6m, due to a reduction in financial services income of £3.9m in the first half of the financial year.

The retailer said there had been “strong growth” of 3.6% on branded products, while house brands fell by 2.1%. Concession sales remained flat.

Beauty was up 4.1% and womenswear sales dropped 0.6% year on year. Sales were up in all other categories.

Like-for-like online sales were up 16.1% and now represent 21.8% of total sales. The business launched a £25m upgrade of its ecommerce platform earlier this month which it is hoped will enhance the customer online experience, improve ecommerce margins, and provide the necessary capacity to allow the group to double its online sales.

The group said trading was subdued in February this year but it saw an improvement in March with sales tracking ahead of expectations.

Frank Slevin, executive chairman of House of Fraser, said: “The retail environment is changing and we must continue to innovate, challenge and strive to be what our customers want us to be. The strengthened leadership team have meticulously reviewed every part of our business and have set out a clear vision for the future direction of the business.

“It is important that House of Fraser leads in providing the space and experience that attracts our customers to come and spend time in our stores, to make shopping with House of Fraser a lifestyle-led experience. With great teamwork, newly refurbished stores and a greatly improved web platform, I am confident that the group has the solid foundations to deliver long-term growth and sustainable profitability over the coming years.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Equates to a profit per store of c£200K per annum. Less than £4K per week!

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