Debenhams profits drop 85% as retailer blames disappointing Christmas and Beast from the East for plunge
High street retailers have been struggling in recent months
Profits at Debenhams plunged by 85 per cent in the first half of the financial year, tumbling from £87.8m to £13.5m, causing shares in the company to drop by more than 10 per cent at the open.
The beleaguered department store blamed a combination of a “disappointing Christmas season” and extreme weather conditions for denting sales and margins. In the final trading week of the first half, which ended on 26 March, Debenhams was forced to temporarily close almost 100 stores, which is estimated to have reduced sales by 1 per cent. Sales were down 2.2 per cent overall in the six month period.
Read more Debenhams to cut 320 store management jobs in cost-cutting drive The group slashed its dividend to 0.5p per share, a reduction of 51.2 per cent compared to 1.025p awarded this time last year.
The company provided an update on its accelerated Debenhams Redesigned strategy, which has seen the group focus on improving its webs..