Debenhams has produced a better-than-expected set of half-year results, driving up both turnover and pre-tax profits.
The 26 weeks to the end of February saw sales up 0.3% to £1.3b, while pre-tax profits rose 10.7% to £104.2m, £10m higher than market forecasts.
And sales growth is accelerating, with total sales rising 6.1% and like-for-like sales up 1.9% in the seven weeks to April 18. Own fashion labels in particular helped the figures.
Chief executive Rob Templeman described the increase in profitability as “a considerable achievement given the difficult trading conditions across the retail sector”.
Debenhams plans to open nine more stores in the next two years, creating 1,800 jobs.