Debenhams announced today that it had achieved a 13.7% rise in pre-tax profit to £125.2m in the year to August 29 2009.

‘Creditable performance’ at Debenhams sees 13.7% profit rise

Debenhams announced today that it had achieved a 13.7% rise in pre-tax profit to £125.2m in the year to August 29 2009.

‘Creditable performance’ at Debenhams sees 13.7% profit rise

Sales rose 0.2% to £2.34bn though like-for-like sales were down 3.6%. The department store retailer also reduced debt by £403.7m to £590.3m. It said that a strong gross margin performance had improved significantly as the year progressed.

The company said that its focus on own-bought ranges had resulted in a strong performance, and that it had converted around 530,000sq ft from concession to own-bought ranges.

Five new department stores had opened during the period, and 11 new international franchise stores opened in eight countries.

Chief executive Rob Templeman said he was “very pleased with the outcome for 2009, especially given the difficult economic and retail environment. Achieving profit growth in these circumstances is, we believe, a creditable performance.”

He added that the focus would continue to be on the drivers of cash profit, opening new stores, developing the multi-channel business and restarting the store refurbishment programme.

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