Department store chain House of Fraser (HOF) has today reported a like-for-like (LFL) sales increase of 1.7 per cent in its first half, driven by a strong uptake of new season products.
As such, LFL sales rose 4.6 per cent in the first eight weeks of the second half while cash profit jumped three per cent.
Over the 13 weeks to July 28th 2012 , EBITDA was up 0.8 per cent to £12.5 million while online sales saw growth of 60 per cent in H1.
HOF is one of the largest online department stores in Europe offering over 1,000 brands, which exceeds the offering of pure-play fashion e-tailer Asos and a spokesperson told Retail Gazette that “online development continues to be integral to the business strategy.”
In recent months, the retailer has ramped up its concession offerings, launching a handbag collection designed by retail guru Mary Portas as well as a series of concessions from Scottish fashion retailer M&Co as it expands its portfolio of brand partners.
Developing its product offering has long been a core part of the chain’s strategy, which rolled out its Biba fashion collection across stores last year following a successful trial which saw the label exceed sales of £1 million in its first month of trading in September 2010.
Commenting on the latest results, which were boosted by the refurbishment of its Oxford Street store, HOF CEO John King said: “We are pleased to report a solid set of results despite difficult market conditions.
“Our strategy to invest in our stores and online proposition as well as further develop our product offering will continue to drive growth. It continues to be difficult to predict when economic conditions will improve, however, we are encouraged by the strong start to the second half.
“We will continue to focus on further improving customer service and maintaining the operational efficiency of the business and tight control over costs and cash.
“We believe that, with this strategy, we are well placed to continue to deliver for the remainder of the year.”