Debenhams like-for-like sales increased 2.4% in the eight weeks to March 3, as momentum from its strong winter sales held up.

Group like-for-likes were up 1.4% in the department store’s half year to March 3, despite “challenging conditions across the retail sector”.

The retailer said customers “continue to appreciate the style, quality and value of our offer” particularly across its core brands and Designers at Debenhams

It added that its spring marketing campaign under the Life Made Fabulous theme has been  “well received” by customers.

Debenhams chief executive Michael Sharp said: “Our priority in the second half is to continue executing our strategy, centred on the four pillars of focusing on UK retail, delivering a compelling customer proposition, increasing availability and choice through multi-channel and expanding the brand internationally. 

“While it is prudent to remain cautious about the health of the wider economy and the impact this may have on consumer behaviour in the short-term, we remain comfortable with the outlook for the full year. 

“Over the medium-term, we are confident of the benefits that our strategy will bring to Debenhams.”