Home Business NewsBusiness Debenhams hit by ‘volatile’ trading, issues a profit warning

Debenhams hit by ‘volatile’ trading, issues a profit warning

4th Jan 18 11:27 am

Shares slumped 21 per cent in early trading.

Describing the business as “highly competitive and volatile”, British department chain Debenhams has issued a gloomy update for its trading up to and over the Christmas period.

In the 17 weeks to 30 December 2017, the group reported that like-for-like sales fell 1.3 per cent, while like-for-like sales stripping out currency fluctuations were down 1.8 per cent.

Shares slumped 21 per cent in early trading.

Over the 6 week Christmas period itself, constant currency like-for-likes were up 1.2 per cent, while online sales grew 15.1 per cent.

But “the first week of post-Christmas Sale was below expectations despite further markdown investment,” Debenhams said, adding: “The UK trading environment has continued to be volatile and highly competitive with weaker demand in some more discretionary areas,” it said.

Sergio Bucher, chief executive of Debenhams, said: “The market has been challenging and particularly promotional in some of our key seasonal categories and we have responded in order to remain competitive for our customers, which has impacted our profit performance. Nevertheless, we are seeing positive early signs from the changes we have made as part of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy. The market dynamics we have seen have reinforced our view that we need to move even faster to implement the cultural and organisational changes needed to ensure Debenhams is in the best possible shape for today’s fast-changing retail environment.”

Leave a Comment


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]