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Summer discounts boosts Debenhams profits

DEPARTMENT store Debenhams today forecast higher-than-expected UK profits after a summer of discounts and promotions helped boost its market share.

The group, which has 169 stores in the UK, Ireland and Denmark, reported top-line growth of 0.4pc on a like-for-like basis in the nine weeks to August 27, compared with a fall of 0.4pc over the previous 43 weeks

During the period, Debenhams started its summer sale five days early to steal a march on competitors, helping it enter the autumn season with low stock levels.

The group said gross margin for the full-year may be slightly down as a result of the discounting and competitive pricing, but the additional sales generated will help push profits for the year above City expectations of a 5pc increase to £158m.

The strategy helped the chain boost its market share of clothing and premium health and beauty.

PA Media