Debenhams, the UK's second- largest department store, has said sales at outlets that have been open ...
Debenhams, the UK's second- largest department store, has said sales at outlets that have been open for a year or more, grew 8.5% in the 12 weeks to 12 January, buoyed by growth in UK consumer spending on clothing and other goods.
In the 19 weeks ending 12 January, gross profit as a percentage of sales was the same as the period a year earlier after increased spending on Christmas advertising, the company said. Total sales jumped 10% and inventory levels fell from the year before.
'Men's and women's clothing were successful over Christmas, and that's half our sales,'' according to finance director Matthew Roberts. 'We have benefited from investment in modernizing our stores and we spent a bit more on Christmas advertising than last year.''
Debenhams has added designer brands such as Ben Sherman and increased sales of its own-brand labels to lure shoppers from rivals such as industry leader John Lewis.
The number of UK retailers reporting sales gains outweighed the number with declines by the biggest difference in 14 years, the Confederation of British Industry said last week.
Shares of the 97-outlet company rose as much as 7.75p, or 2%, to 394.75p. The stock has lost 6.5% so far this year, lagging a 2.7% gain at rival Selfridges.
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