New House of Fraser management boosts sales and profits
Thursday 21 August 2008
House of Fraser has delivered a healthy uplift in sales and profits, as the changes made by its new management team bear fruit despite tough trading conditions on the high street.
The 61-department store chain, which was acquired by a consortium led by the Icelandic investment group Baugur in November 2006, delivered total sales up 2.9 per cent for the 26 weeks to 26 July.
The figures suggest House of Fraser is holding its own on the high street, against rivals such as Selfridges and John Lewis, but it did not provide like-for-like sales, based on stores more than a year old, and its sales were boosted by two stores opening in Belfast and High Wycombe in March. House of Fraser said that its underlying earnings (Ebitda) were up by more than 30 per cent in the past 12 months.
Robert Clark, a senior partner at the market research firm Retail Knowledge Bank, said: "I suspect it masks a small fall in like-for-like sales. But the profit figure is reasonable and this shows they are watching costs very carefully."
House of Fraser said the uplift in profits and sales had been driven by refurbished stores, improved stock management, the introduction of new products and high-margin private-label products, including its Linea line, which has been extended into handbags, accessories and home. It said it had reduced stock levels by 5 per cent and cut back on poor-selling stock significantly. House of Fraser said that sales at its 13 refurbished stores are 8 per cent ahead of the rest of the chain.
Don McCarthy, House of Fraser's chairman, said: "Our three-year investment programme is well under way, and we are delighted by the performance of our new stores which were opened earlier this year in both Belfast and High Wycombe."
House of Fraser, whose chief executive is John King, said it had invested £150m in the business since it was bought by Highland Acquisitions in November 2006 and that it had repaid or cancelled £110m of the original debt since then.
The department store chain, which generates annual sales in excess of £1.25bn, is to open two more stores in Bristol next month and London's White City in October.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
iJobs Money & Business
£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...