HONOR WESTNEDGE | VERDICT RESEARCH
Despite rising commodity prices and high levels of promotional activity on the rest of the UK high street, Debenhams has managed to improve its gross margin on the previous year. Through focusing on its own-bought product, the retailer is in a better financial position to face a tough second-half.
JONATHAN PRITCHARD | ORIEL SECURITIES
Given the headwinds which face the UK consumer this is a good result for Debenhams. As petrol prices have soared, so consumer confidence has waned. But Debenhams’ ranges and its consistent focus on innovation will have
ensured market gains since Christmas.
KEITH BOWMAN | HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
In all, the shadow of the group's debt bearing private equity past has receded, with management continuing to fortify investor confidence and the shares retaining their positive (buy) market consensus opinion. A focus on profit margins as opposed to sales remains central to management strategy.