Jun 27, 2017

Debenhams warns of ‘volatile’ trading on the high street

Debenhams, the struggling department store chain, has become the latest retailer to warn of tough trading on the UK high street, saying the market had become more unpredictable as consumers tighten their belts. The group, which is in the early stages of a turnround plan headed by former Amazon executive Sergio Bucher, said on Tuesday that sales had fallen in the past three months and put investors on notice that the "More volatile" trading environment could hit profits. Mr Bucher was speaking as Debenhams released a trading update that said it expected full-year pre-tax profits to be within market expectations, but warned that "Should current market volatility continue, profit before tax could be towards the lower end of the current range". The trading update, for the 15 weeks to June 17, showed a 2.4 per cent fall in like-for-like sales at constant currencies. The group blamed a "More volatile" trading environment in the UK for the slide but said its shift away from clothing sales had helped to cushion the blow.

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