Debenhams Warns of Volatile Trading

The department store Debenhams has warned that trading will become volatile during the second half of the year, as it reported difficult trading conditions, and said that it expected to see sales slide.

UNDEFINED - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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The retailer is in the middle of a turnaround programme being led by their new chief executive, Sergio Bucher, and it reported that in the 15 weeks leading up to June 17, it had seen a 0.9 percent fall in like for like sales.

The company expects that 2017 profits before tax will be within the range of market expectations, however it also expects that if current market volatility continues, then the outcome could be more towards the lower end of that range.

The update is the first since April, which was when Bucher outlined his strategic plans to return the group to profit growth. The plans included closing a number of stores and revamping the remainder, as well as improving the online arm of the brand. He also aimed to improve efficiencies in many areas of the business to cut costs and return the store to stronger profits.

Debenhams says that it expects a more solid performance in many areas, including beauty, accessories and food, and that those may help to mitigate the impact of weakness in the clothing market. Before Tuesday’s update, analysts had been expecting profits of around 100 million pounds for the department store, down from 114 million in the previous financial year. May was a tough month for many retailers, not just Debenhams, however.


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