Prolific department store chain reaps rewards of tight supply chain controls and Designers ranges
Debenhams has managed to weather the declining retail market over the past six months by focusing on supply chain management and cost control. However like-for-like sales have also been positive over the period, resulting in outstanding profits.

In the 26 weeks to February 26, the department store retailer reported like-for-like sales up by 4.2 per cent. Pre-tax profit for the period was up a staggering 269.5 per cent to£162.2 million year on year. In the 13 weeks to February 26, Debenhams pre-tax profits were up 254.7 per cent to£101.1 million compared with the same period last year.

The retailer said its Designers at Debenhams categories had performed strongly over the half-year and announced that Betty Jackson and Nigel Cabourn had been added to the number of contributors to the range.

Including the eight Allders stores acquired by the retailer, which are on track for refurbishment at a cost£18 million, Debenhams now operates 116 stores.

Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman said: 'Our strategy of designer-based product development, space expansion, store investment and supply chain initiatives is delivering strong growth in sales and profit. We are encouraged by the positive customer reaction as Debenhams continues to invest in quality products, people and stores, while offering exclusive and stylish Designers at Debenhams brands at affordable prices.'