Royal designer could boost Debenhams

  • @Thompj

Debenhams is counting on a Royal boost from the Duchess of Cambridge this summer, after the department store chain increased half-year profits and sales by a sliver.

It recently launched a range of occasion wear from Jenny Packham, the designer whose dress Kate Middleton wore on her first public outing with Prince William for a gala dinner at Kensington Palace in July.

Michael Sharp, the chief executive of Debenhams, expects the No 1 Jenny Packham line to be a popular seller around the Diamond Jubilee.

He said: "Things like that will be good winners this summer. There is the Kate Middleton factor. She [Ms Packham] is one of the designers that Kate Middleton regularly wears."

However, Mr Sharp said the overall impact of this summer's events – including the European Football Championship and the Olympics – on high street spending remained an "unknown".

In the half year to 3 March, Debenhams lifted its pre-tax profits 1.4 per cent to £127.1m. Its total sales rose by the same percentage to £1.24bn.