Debenhams’ Christmas sales suffer dip

Debenhams’ like-for-like sales fell over Christmas, but the department store retailer saw shares rise this morning.
Sales for the past 12 weeks fell 3.3%, but Debenhams said it was happy with its performance in light of “the extremely difficult and volatile conditions seen across the high street”.

The fall in like-for-like sales compared with a drop of 4.2% for the previous six weeks, and pre-tax profit for the 18-week period was up on that of the equivalent period last year.

Debenhams says it is continuing to take market share from competitors in all major categories.

Shares in the company rose 30% this morning.

“Looking forward, the trading environment is likely to remain challenging for the whole retail sector,” said chief executive Rob Templeman. He added that the company would keep a tight control on costs, stock and capital.

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