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Sales slump at Debenhams

Published: 17 April 2007
Profits to come in below market expectations
Debenhams has issued its third profit warning since December.

Debenhams said it expected profit for the year to 31 August to be 'below current market expectations', citing a challenging UK retail market.

The news was greeted by analysts saying they would be reducing their full-year earnings expectations and could revisit their recommendations on the shares.

Sales at stores fell 6.9% since the beginning of March, and were 4.5% lower during the 26-week period ended March 3.

However, there was some good news in the interim figures showing pre-tax profit rose 34.4% to £106 million from £79 million on sales that were 5.8% higher at £1.3 billion.

The group is introducing more designer ranges into its Home division with the launch of new collections from Jane Packer and Jeff Banks.

Debenhams said it is hoping to expand its business through its new internet website, as well as internationally through franchises.


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