The scale of troubles facing beleaguered high street giant Debenhams unfolded this evening, with reports that the department store chain is set to reveal its biggest loss in its 240-year history tomorrow morning.
Sky News reported today that Debenhams is set to post statutory annual losses nearing the £500m mark in its statement tomorrow, with plans to close as many as 50 of its 165 stores over the next five years.
It is thought that the vast majority of the £500m comes from non-cash assets being added to the balance sheets, with sources telling Sky that the items did not affect the company's financial position.
Its dividend is also expected to be suspended.
The news comes in the wake of several profits warnings that Debenhams has issued within the last year, as long tenancy agreements, rising labour costs and increasing competition from online rivals weigh on the company’s balance sheet.
Earlier this month the department store chain unveiled its turnaround plans in a bid to resassure both shoppers and investors after a challenging summer.
Among the other plans to bolster the business is the sale of its Danish department store business Magasin du Nord, which is estimated to be worth around £200m.