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House of Fraser reports strong christmas trading
Jan '08
After first full year under new management and ownership, House of Fraser announces strong Christmas trading.

House of Fraser, which was acquired by Highland Acquisitions Ltd on 8th November 2006, today reports strong like-for-like growth for the key Christmas period. Sales, on a like for like basis, during the last five weeks to 3rd January 2008 were 2.4% up on the same period last year. The Christmas trading performance is particularly pleasing given the very strong comparators for the prior year.

Gross profit over the same 5 week period was also up on last year. In addition, House of Fraser has continued to improve its stock management and its inventories have been reduced by 20% compared to the same time last year.

Commenting on the performance, Don McCarthy, Chairman of House of Fraser said; “The strong Christmas trading period has been a superb end to effectively our first year in control of House of Fraser. We have seen both like-for-like sales growth and an improvement in our margins despite the general tough retail trading environment.

John King, his management team and all staff have done an amazing job during the year both on a financial and retail perspective. We have met all our financial objectives. Our debt position is over £110 million better than the original financing plan, and we currently have cash deposits of over £113 million, £35 million more than last year."

"Furthermore, we have reduced the number of sale days with the result that full year margins have improved. At the same time we have invested heavily in our stores with 15 stores receiving the first phase of their refit programmes, including the ground floor of our flagship Oxford Street store.

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