Belfast Telegraph

Debenhams happy with 'resilient' start to year

By Peter Cripps

A successful January sale and well-received spring ranges helped department store chain Debenhams make a "resilient" start to 2012.

Like-for-like sales increased 2.4% in the eight weeks to March 3 - significantly better than the flat performance in the previous 18 weeks.

The group hailed the popularity of its winter sale and its Designers at Debenhams labels for getting its new season off to an "encouraging" start.

Chief executive Michael Sharp, whose group has 170 stores, said he was pleased with the performance in the face of challenging conditions that have sunk several retailers and remained comfortable with the outlook for the next six months.

The improved performance left the group's like-for-like sales excluding VAT up 0.3% in the first half of its financial year.