Debenhams is expected to deliver a robust performance when it updates the City with its pre-close interim management statement on September 14.
KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson forecast that full-year like-for-like sales in the UK for this year would be “marginally below breakeven” with gross margin gains of 100 basis points improving full-year and second-half profits.
Stevenson upgraded his profit before tax forecast for the 2011 year by £15m to £155.3m to reflect the retailer’s refinancing in July. However, he cautioned the department store group was likely to be impacted by lower levels of disposable income next year.
Investec analyst Katharine Wynne forecast an improvement in the like-for-like growth reported for the first 42 weeks to -0.2%, implying growth of about 1.5% for the final 10 weeks of the year.
However, she trimmed £10m from her profit forecast for 2011 to £157m because of the likely weaker market, additional costs following the acquisition of Faith and investment in Debenhams Direct.