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House of Fraser EBITDA drops due to distribution centre investment

House of Fraser adjusted EBITDA dropped 16% to £58.6m as it invested in a second distribution centre.

However, gross profits were up £3.8m to £399.1m in its year to January 28 and like-for-like sales over the year nudged up 3%.

In the first 13 weeks of its current year like-for-like growth continued at the department store, edging up 2.6%.

House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy said he believed its results for the year were in line with other fashion retailers in its sector.

He said: “2011 was another year of investment for us, as we continued to focus on the fastest growing areas of our business.  We have worked collaboratively with our brand partners to further develop our premium product offering, our store environments and our growing online proposition.

“This combined investment has helped deliver a positive current trading performance, with first quarter like for like sales up 2.6%, although sales growth has been held back with one of the wettest Aprils on record.”

McCarthy said it remained positive that its multichannel strategy and brand offer would support growth.

The retailer’s online sales rocketed 92% over the year and now accounts for 7.4% of sales. It relaunched its website during the year and now offers 1,000 brands online.

Its own brand sales also jumped 17% helped by the launch of Mary by Mary Portas in womenswear, Shabby Chick in home and Howick Tailored in menswear.

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