Robust Debenhams strong after flotation

18-09-2006

High street retailer Debenhams revealed it had achieved year-on-year profits of 6.6 per cent, ahead of its full year results.

The department stores group, releasing profit guidance advice before revealing its official end-of-year results next month, said that its growth expectations were in line with those delivered at the time of its initial public offering (IPO) on May 4th this year.

"We are pleased with our performance and remain well placed as we enter the new financial year," chief executive Rob Templeman said.

"Although, as widely reported, the retail market was challenging in the early part of the summer, there are signs that trading conditions are improving. We continue to successfully manage our stocks and remain confident that the rigorous delivery of our strategy, together with our store expansion programme, will continue to drive the growth potential of Debenhams."

The retail group is currently undergoing a significant expansion, with 25 new department stores in the pipeline to add to the current total of 126 across the UK and Ireland.

It purchased nine Roches stores in Ireland last month and increased the number of its fashion clothing brand sub-stores, Desire by Debenhams, up from three to five.

After having floated its shares on the London Stock Exchange at 195 pence per share in May, Debenhams' shares slipped below 170 pence at the beginning of August but have since recovered to 192 pence.

On early morning trading today, shares in Debenhams fell by 0.78 per cent to 191.5 pence.


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