Department store bucks high street trend
Department store Debenhams has broken the£2 billion sales barrier, more than doubling profits and bucking the high street trend.

Pre-tax profit for the 53 weeks to September 3 soared by 123 per cent to£238.6 million, while like-for-like sales climbed 2.8 per cent for the same period.

The group upped its market share during the period from 16.4 per cent to 18.6 per cent, when other retailers experienced a decline. Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman said that it was a record financial performance. 'I am very pleased to report that Debenhams has made solid progress over the past year, resulting in a record financial performance in a challenging retail environment,' he said.

The group spent£104.4 million on store openings, refurbishments and business infrastructure during the period. Templeman added: 'We continue to invest in new stores, with an accelerated pipeline of store openings in the UK and overseas, together with a programme of department store refits.'

Privately owned Debenhams was acquired by CVC Capital Partners, Texas Pacific Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity in 2003.