Debenhams struggles as like-for-like sales growth grinds to a halt

Retailer Debenhams has released an interim management statement for the 16 weeks to 22 June (release). The firm has seen like-for-like sales entirely flat, despite growth of 3.1 per cent in the last period.

This was considered a robust performance by the company, in the context of a weak consumer environment and poor spring weather.

Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams, said:

Debenhams has delivered a robust performance, continuing to grow market share in our key categories in a challenging and volatile period. I'm particularly pleased that we have maintained strong growth of online sales which were up by 40%.

We have managed the business to reflect the market conditions, with a strong focus on stocks, margins and costs. We are also making good progress on the four pillars of our strategy to build a leading international, multi-channel brand. As a result, at this stage we remain comfortable with the range of market expectations for profit before tax for the year as a whole.