Debenhams shares dive after weak Christmas trade" width="976" height="549">
Department store chain Debenhams' shares have sunk 20% it warned that annual profits would be lower than expected following disappointing trading over the key Christmas period. The retailer said underlying pre-tax profits were now likely to be between Debenhams said trading had improved over the six-week Christmas period thanks to discounting, with like-for-like sales up 1.2% during that time, but the first week of the post-Christmas sale was worse than expected.
"The market has been challenging and particularly promotional in some of our key seasonal categories and we have responded in order to remain competitive for our customers, which has impacted our profit performance," said Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher.
The retailer said it was "accelerating some aspects" of its strategic plan, Debenhams Redesigned, in order to "deliver a long-term sustainable future".It said early signs from new store format trials in Stevenage and Wolverhampton were "promising".Debenhams added that "reorganisation and restructuring activity" and a review of central costs were expected to generate savings of ?20m.It said there had been "positive momentum in digital sales growth", with smartphone demand up 36% year-on-year following improvements to its mobile site.However, Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Strong growth for its digital offering has failed to save Debenhams from a miserable end to the year."Customers turned out for Christmas, but refused to put their hands in their pockets in the lead-up to the festive period, or indeed the Boxing Day sales."Debenhams has been forced to cut prices to persuade shoppers to part with their cash, and as a result, margins have been squeezed, profits have been significantly downgraded and the share price has taken a massive hit."The store chain's fortunes contrast sharply with those of clothing retailer Next, which surprised the markets on Wednesday by raising its profit forecast.Next said annual profits were expected to rise by ?8m to ?725m after cold weather boosted trade ahead of Christmas, sending full-price sales up 1.5% - far better than the 0.3% fall it had expected.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Январь 2023    »