Debenhams reports fall in profits

Department store Debenhams today said it was encouraged by market share-gains after like-for-like sales fell 4.2% amid the current economic turmoil.

The performance for the six weeks to October 11 followed a drop of 0.9% in the year to August 30. Pre-tax profits for the financial year were also down 16% to £110.1m (€142.1m), although this was in line with City expectations.

Chief executive Rob Templeman described trading conditions as difficult but said the company achieved improved market share across all major clothing categories, while its Designers at Debenhams range also performed well.

He said the company would look to manage the business tightly in the face of uncertain conditions, with particular focus on reducing the company’s debt from its level of £994m (€1,282.88m) at the end of August.

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