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Debenhams plc sees resilient finish to H1 trading
21
Mar '12
Group gross transaction value for the 26 weeks to 3rd March 2012 increased by 1.4%. A resilient finish to the half saw like-for-like sales increase by 2.4% (including and excluding VAT) for the eight weeks to 3rd March 2012. This resulted in Group like-for-like sales growth of 1.4% including VAT and 0.3% excluding VAT for the period as a whole, an improvement on the position already reported for the first 18 weeks of the year.

Debenhams' sales performance in the 18 weeks to 7th January 2012 was detailed in the January interim management statement. Trading in the last eight weeks of the half held up well, helped by a successful winter sale as well as an encouraging start to the new season.

Customers continue to appreciate the style, quality and value of our offer, particularly our own core brands and Designers at Debenhams. The spring marketing campaign under the "Life Made Fabulous" theme was launched in mid-February and has been well received by customers.

Michael Sharp, Chief Executive of Debenhams, said:
"I am pleased with our performance in the first half which resulted in like-for-like sales growth despite challenging conditions across the retail sector.

"Our priority in the second half is to continue executing our strategy, centred on the four pillars of focusing on UK retail, delivering a compelling customer proposition, increasing availability and choice through multi-channel and expanding the brand internationally.

"Whilst it is prudent to remain cautious about the health of the wider economy and the impact this may have on consumer behaviour in the short-term, we remain comfortable with the outlook for the full year. Over the medium-term, we are confident of the benefits that our strategy will bring to Debenhams."

Debenhams will report its first half results for the 26 weeks to 3rd March 2012 on Thursday 19th April 2012.

Debenhams plc

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