House of Fraser like-for-likes rose 2% and losses remained level with its first quarter last year as the retailer plots 20 store refurbishments.
Department store House of Fraser, which was acquired Nanjing Cenbest - a department store group owned by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower earlier this year, said it plans to refurbish 20 of its stores in the “medium term” with a mix of shopping centre and high street locations being considered.
Adjusted EBITDA loss at House of Fraser was £3.4m in the quarter to April 26. However, gross profit advanced 3.7% to £87.9m over the period.
House of Fraser said that the opening weeks of its second quarter had “shown further improvement”, up 5.5% year on year, with like-for-likes for the first 21 weeks of the year up 3.7%.
House brand sales rose 7.7% and the retailer said it had an “encouraging initial performance” of new brands Biba Home and menswear tailoring brand Corsivo. Own-brand Linea sales surged 48% and Dickins & Jones revenue jumped 45%.
Branded and concession sales both edged up 1% over the quarter. It introduced Morgan and Dorothy Perkins to its womenswear offer over the period and Rugby World Cup products in menswear.
House of Fraser said it is plotting further new brand introductions throughout the year.
Menswear was its strongest performing area, with sales up 8.3%, followed by fashion accessories at 5.1%.
Online sales surged 20.2%. It has added Arcadia brands Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins to its roster over the quarter and its site redesign was completed, which helped sales and margin growth in the beginning of its second quarter. It also added next-day delivery to its Collect+ fulfillment option and a faster overseas delivery.
The retailer said: “With a new chapter starting in the history of the business, following the announcement of the acquisition by Nanjing Cenbest, the group is excited for its future growth prospects in the UK and abroad and we remain confident that the group’s business model, with its premium brand positioning, growing house brand mix and multichannel operations, positions it strongly for the foreseeable future.”