Oct 25, 2018

Debenhams scraps dividend after £500m loss

British department store Debenhams has cancelled its dividend, announced a full-year loss of almost half a billion pounds and said it will close up to 50 of its stores putting around 4,000 jobs at risk, in the latest sign of a downturn on UK high streets. The struggling group, whose shares have lost three quarters of their value this year because of successive profit warnings, announced a pre-tax loss of £492m for the year to September, a period in which its same-store sales also fell by 2.3 per cent. Without these costs, Debenhams would have made a full-year pre-tax profit of £33m, down from £95m a year earlier. The Debenhams boss has been working on new store concepts designed to tempt shoppers back to the business and the group now has nine sites that feature refreshed designs and enhanced levels of service. Future investment will be focused on the "Priority elements" of its strategy to redesign and refresh its shops, Debenhams said.

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