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Difficult for Debenhams

Department store firm Debenhams said trading conditions in Ireland "remained difficult" during the last financial year, with revenue at its outlets here remaining flat at €171.6m. The retailer, which has 11 outlets in Ireland, said that its group underlying profits fell nearly 21pc to £110.3m (€140m) in the period, but pledged that it should be able to improve profitability in the current year.

Chief executive Michael Sharp reckons profits in the current financial year should rise by about 4.5pc.