Debenhams profits dive 44%


Debenhams has posted double digit profit and revenue losses as its chief executive hails “good progress” on turnaround strategy.

In the year to September 3, the department store retailer saw pre-tax profits drop 44 per cent to £59 million, while underlying profits saw a decline of 16.6 per cent to £95.2 million.

Like-for-like sales in the UK remained flat, but group like-for-likes rose 2.1 per cent.

Gross margins dropped by 30 basis points, while full price sales edged up 1.7 per cent.

Debenhams’ figures were reportedly dragged down by a £36.2 million exceptional charge linked to its restructuring programme.

“We are making good progress with implementing our new strategy, Debenhams Redesigned, and are encouraged by the results from our initial trials, as well as the number of exciting new partners who want to work with us,” chief executive Sergio Bucher said.

“There is a lot to do but I am delighted with the enthusiasm and flair shown by my colleagues as we embark on this journey.

“The environment remains uncertain and we face tough comparatives over the key Christmas weeks. However, we are well prepared for peak trading and the early signs from our activity to date confirm that we are moving in the right direction towards a successful and profitable future for Debenhams.”

Earlier this year, Bucher announced a cost-saving drive which would see 11 Debenhams warehouses close and 220 jobs axed.

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