Like-for-like (LFL) sales at department store group House of Fraser have grown 5.5 per cent year-on-year in the year to date, according to a statement published today.
The announcement to bond holders indicated that trading for the 25 weeks to July 16th 2011 has been strong and even improved as the year drew on with LFL sales for the latter 11 weeks of that period up eight per cent annually.
For the first quarter to April 30th LFLs including VAT were up three per cent, with house brand sales driving growth in line with the business’s aim to improve margins.
House of Fraser’s multichannel offering has increased significantly in the last 12 months, and Q1 saw online sales grow 107 per cent year-on-year as a result of the greater number of products now available via the retailer’s website and shoppers’ continued migration to e-tail.
Gross profits were up by £2.4 million to £81.5 million, gross profit rate increased 50 basis points to 36.3 per cent and net debt was down on the same period in 2010.
The department store group also noted that its refurbished stores have performed well since the start of the new financial year, while the last three months also coincided with the opening of new distribution centre in Wellingborough which created 158 jobs.
Today’s statement comes after House of Fraser announced in June that it had completed the refinancing of its business, giving the company the opportunity to develop its own-brands and its multichannel platforms, in addition to opening more stores.
Since the end of April the retailer has launched three new brands, Label Lab and Howick Tailored in its menswear department and Kenneth Cole Home as part of its non-fashion offering.