Department store House of Fraser (HOF) has today reported an EBITDA improvement of £4.3 million in its third quarter, standing at £3 million following a loss of £1.3 million a year previously as its overall performance continues to improve.
Like-for-like (LFL) sales rose 5.4 per cent in the 13 weeks to October 27th 2012 amid strong trading and in the first five weeks of the final quarter, LFLs increased four per cent on the same period in 2011.
Investment in stores and its multichannel offer has driven growth, the retailer said, with last year’s refurbished units delivering a solid performance while, in the year-to-date, online sales have soared 56.6 per cent.
Over the quarter, online sales grew 50 per cent and a statement from the group said that “online development continues to be integral to the business strategy” with HOF remaining one of the largest online department stores in Europe.
During the period, additional brands were rolled out across the HOF website which now offers over 1,000 brands and is the most visible fashion retail website on Google.
Last month, HOF’s Oxford Street store hosted the Christmas lights switch on which featured Robbie Williams, a marketing opportunity which likely contributed to its sales growth since the end of the last quarter.
HOF CEO John King welcomed the results, commenting: “The Board is pleased with the performance over the third quarter and we continue to believe that the strategy to invest in our stores and online proposition as well as the further development of our product offering will drive future growth.
“It continues to be difficult to predict when economic conditions will improve and retail competitor activities have intensified in recent weeks.
“Nevertheless, the sales performance in the opening weeks of Q4 Fiscal Year 2013 has continued to step up in the run up to the Christmas period.
“There remains three full weekends of shopping before the Christmas break and accordingly there is more opportunity to deliver sales growth compared to last year.”