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Snow affects first half profits at Debenhams

Pre-tax profits at Debenhams fell 5.4% to £120.3m in the six months to March 2, with the department store business blaming the January snow.

Like-for-like sales rose 3.1% during the period while gross transaction value was up 3.5% to £1.53bn.

Earlier this year Debenhams issued a warning that snow had frozen sales in January.

Today’s results show that gross margin was down 20 basis points owing to unplanned discounts.

However online sales were up 46% to £194.4m and now make up 12.7% of total sales.

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “We made progress during the first half although snow in late January meant we did not achieve the profit outcome we had expected.”

Sharp said he expected the retailer to make “further progress” in the second half of the year despite a challenging retail environment.

On April 4 Drapers revealed that designer Patrick Grant was to become the latest name to join the Designers at Debenhams roster.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Debenhams are incapable of selling product at the appropriate margin whatever the weather is. Deal with them at your peril.

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