Debenhams pleased with market gains

Department store Debenhams today said half-year profits rose 10.7% after the popularity of its Designers at Debenhams range boosted market share.

Department store Debenhams today said half-year profits rose 10.7% after the popularity of its Designers at Debenhams range boosted market share.

The chain, which has 144 stores in the UK and Ireland, described the increase in profits to £104.2m (€116.6m) as a “considerable achievement” and said it was well placed going into the second half of the financial year.

Like-for-like sales rose 1.9% in the seven weeks to April 18, an improvement on the decline of 3.6% seen in the 26 weeks to February 28 – a period when trading was disrupted by February’s snow storms and the impact of the banking crisis on consumer confidence before Christmas.

Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman said he was particularly pleased with the performance of Designers at Debenhams, as shoppers looked for cheaper designer equivalents in the tougher times.

Sales of designer ranges improved 11% over the period, with products from John Rocha and Jeff Banks among those to do well.

Debenhams said market share gains had now been achieved on a regular basis for 18 months, with the most recent industry data showing the strongest performances in menswear and childrenswear.

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