House of Fraser defies High Street gloom with record sales and profits

 

House of Fraser, the privately owned department store chain, showed today it is defying the gloom on the High Street with record levels of sales and profits.

In the year to January 26 sales hit £1.2 billion, a rise of 3.3 per cent. Profits were up nearly 5 per cent to £404 million.

Don McCarthy, the chairman who owns a slug of the business, thinks the group’s “premium brand” positioning will help it to keep growing even if the economic conditions don’t improve.

He said: “During the year the management team has further developed and modernised the business in line with our strategy.

“General market conditions continued to be challenging, particularly in the first half of the year, and accordingly we were pleased to have delivered an improvement in group profitability and a reduction in net debt.”

The debts are down £6.2 million to £157.2 million.

House of Fraser is said to have held talks last year with Sports Direct. Mike Ashley’s outfit is considering taking a stake in the firm.

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