Debenhams predicts better-than-expected profit

Debenhams put 2.9% on group gross transaction value in the 52 weeks to August 27 2011, the retailer said in a trading update today.

Debenhams predicts better-than-expected profit

The department store retailer saw like-for-like sales excluding VAT slide by 0.3%, but while the group gross margin rate for the year will also be flat to slightly down over last year, pre-tax profit for the year is expected to be ahead of current estimates.

The company said it had enjoyed “impressive growth” in multi-channel sales – mainly comprising online, in-store ordering and mobile – which increased by 71.9% over the 52 week period.

Six store refits were started in the second half of the year for completion in the early weeks of the new financial year, and Debenhams also recently signed a lease on a new head office building which will be ready in the summer of 2013.

The move will also allow the refitting of the Oxford Street flagship store during the same year.

The company said it had delivered a stronger performance in the final eight weeks of the year, delivering like-for-like sales growth in the last two months against tougher prior year comparators.

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