Jan 4, 2018

Debenhams shares tumble 20% as Christmas warning adds to woes

Shares in Debenhams fell by more than a fifth on Thursday morning after the struggling department store group warned it would miss full-year profit forecasts because fewer shoppers have been through its doors in search of post-Christmas bargains. In contrast to an upbeat trading statement from Next on Wednesday, Debenhams said that the first week of the post-Christmas sales was below expectations. In early trading, Debenhams' shares were down 19 per cent at 28.8p, rallying a little from an intraday low of 27.10p. The shares have fallen 44 per cent over the past year. In the lead-up to Christmas, like-for-like sales in Debenhams' stores rose 1.2 per cent on what it called a "Constant currency" basis but it admitted that was a result of "Tactical promotional action" on prices. Mr Bucher said it was not relevant to compare Debenhams to Next, because "Over 50 per cent of our business model is outside of clothing, therefore the dynamics of our business are very different".

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