Debenhams announces flat sales growth

Press Release   •   Jun 27, 2013 11:06 BST

Debenhams announced today flat like-for-like sales growth over the past four months, as the weak consumer environment and poor weather dampened demand.

This compares with growth of 3.1% during the first half of the year and fell short of analysts' expectations of about 2 per cent.

In line with previous guidance, the firm is anticipating a flat gross margin performance year-on-year.

In the third quarter average transaction value jumped 1% as it gained market share across clothing, beauty and home. Debenhams said this is evidence of the strength of its spring/summer collections.

Meanwhile, online sales soared 40% and accounted for 14% of its total sales in the period as traffic to surged 21.7%. In the year to date online sales have grown 43.9% and represent 13.1% of total sales.

Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams said: "We have managed the business to reflect the market conditions, with a strong focus on stocks, margins and costs. We are also making good progress on the four pillars of our strategy to build a leading international, multichannel brand."

Internationally, Debenhams said its sales to franchise partners "continue to be robust" and the retailer is aiming to open 25 stores, with 10 of those launching in 2014.

Debenhams is currently spending £25m refurbishing its London flagship store, where it expects to create 430 jobs.

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