Debenhams bucks gloom with sales rise

    Debenhams bucks gloom with sales rise

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    , Britain’s No. 2 department store group, said it would meet forecasts for year profit as it bucked the general doom and gloom in the retail sector with a rise in second-half sales.

    The firm, which trades from about 170 stores in Britain, Ireland and Denmark and about 60 franchised outlets in 24 countries, said sales at stores open more than a year, excluding VAT sales tax, were up 1.5 per cent in the 17 weeks to June 25.

    Debenhams, ranked second after employee-owned department store , said it had invested some gross margin to drive sales, which meant gross margin for the full year was now expected to be “broadly neutral”.

    It forecast year-end net debt of about 400 million pounds ($639 million).

    “We remain cautious about the consumer environment and will continue to focus on growing cash margin through our self-help ,” said Chief Executive Rob Templeman.

    Source : Reuters