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House of Fraser posts like-for-like sales growth of 0.9 percent

House of Fraser has reported like-for-like sales growth of 0.9 percent for the 52 weeks to January 28, 2017. The company said, total GTV of 1.3 billion pounds (1.6 billion dollars) was in line with last year. House of Fraser delivered a 16.1 percent like-for-like sales growth in the year.

Commenting on the company’s full year trading, Colin Elliot, CFO of House of Fraser said, “We are pleased to report another strong set of results despite continued challenging trading conditions across the retail sector. This is an exciting time for House of Fraser and I am confident that the actions taken by the new leadership team places us in a strong position for the future.”

FY16 operational highlights at House of Fraser

The company saw strong growth of 3.6 percent in branded sales, concession sales in line with prior year while house brand sales declined by 2.1 percent.

Beauty segment sales increased by 4.1 percent; while womenswear sales declined by 0.6 percent. Gross profit of 483.1 million pounds (608 million dollars) and gross margin of 36.9 percent, were in line with last year. Profit before tax and exceptional items was 3.4 million pounds (4.2 million dollars) against 1.3 million pounds (1.6 million dollars) last year; while profit after tax was 14.7 million pounds (18.5 million dollars) against loss of 18.4 million pounds (23 million dollars) in 2016. EBITDA was 63.6 million pounds (80 million dollars), a decrease of 2.7 million pounds (3.4 million dollars).

House of Fraser continues its retail expansion

The company carried out five store refurbishments during the year that included London Victoria, Chichester, Shrewsbury, Darlington and Belfast locations. House of Fraser said that its anchoring a new shopping centre development in Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire, due to open in Autumn 2017 with 64,000 sq. ft. of retail space; and is committed to anchor a store at the new Chester Northgate retail and leisure complex in Chester City Centre.

The company also launched a 25 million pounds (31 million dollars) upgrade of House of Fraser’s ecommerce platform in April 2017. The year also saw continued progress on expansion plans in China, through House of Fraser Group Limited. The first store opened in December 2016 in Nanjing.

Over the year, the group continued to strengthen the senior management team with the appointment of Maria Hollins to the position of Executive Director, Product and Trading and David Walmsley to the position of Chief Customer Officer.

As a part of its strategy to develop its brand offering across all categories and routes to market, the company said, it will focus over the next 18 months on refreshing its house brands and as a result, five under-performing house brands will be discontinued this fiscal year with the focus now being on improving the quality and designs of the most popular and best performing brands.

“The retail environment is changing and we must continue to innovate, challenge and strive to be what our customers want us to be. With great teamwork, newly refurbished stores and a greatly improved web platform, I am confident that the Group has the solid foundations to deliver long term growth and sustainable profitability over the coming years,” added Frank Slevin, Executive Chairman of House of Fraser.

Picture:House of Fraser, Newgate Communications