House of Fraser sales flat as it warns on a volatile trading environment that isn't going away

Helen Cahill
Follow Helen
House of Fraser storefront
The department store will be setting up shop in China (Source: Getty)

House of Fraser announced sales in the first half of the financial year were unchanged on a year ago, warning that it faces a "volatile trading environment" that is unlikely to change.

Home was House of Fraser's strongest category, with sales for the 26 weeks to 30 July increasing by 4.5 per cent.

But the House of Fraser brand sales let the department store down, falling by 3.7 per cent.

Read more: Chinese billionaire in talks to sell House of Fraser stake

The British department store was bought by China's Sanpower Group in 2014 and said today that it plans to open its first Chinese outlet in Nanjing in late 2016.

The group has also been expanding its offer in the UK, with new brands joining House of Fraser outlets, including Charlotte Tilbury, All Saints, Monsoon and Mulberry. Six Hamleys concessions will be launched in stores in the second half.

Read more: Shoppers return to the High Streets after a slow summer

Nigel Oddy, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "We have, like many of our peers, experienced an extremely volatile trading environment since the final quarter of the fiscal year 2016, and we expect this uncertain economic situation to remain for some time.

"We are confident that we are in a strong position to maximise trading in the second half, in particular during the important Christmas trading period, supported by new brand launches and shop-fits, the completion of the five ongoing store refurbishments, as well as the strong management team we now have in place."