House of Fraser has revamped its own-brands as it unveils robust first half trading results.

The department store chain will introduce a new high margin own-label fashion brand for men – called Criminal – next month. The fashion own-brand Linea has also been strengthened, with handbags, accessories and homewares all being added to existing ranges.

House of Fraser posted a 2.9 per cent sales hike for the 26 weeks to July 26, with much of the growth attributed to new and refurbished stores. Revamped stores were 8 per cent ahead of the rest of the chain; the Lakeside branch recorded an 18.7 per cent rise. This year’s openings, in Belfast and High Wycombe, were both 15 per cent ahead of expectations.

Describing the trading environment as “difficult”, House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy said: “Our three-year investment programme is well underway. We believe we are at the beginning of an exciting 18 months for House of Fraser.”

In the second half of the year, House of Fraser plans to revamp Glasgow, London’s Oxford Street and Manchester. Investment for store “transformations” is pencilled in for Bluewater, Reading, Leeds, Jenners in Edinburgh and Dundrum, on Dublin’s outskirts.

The Chambers fashion retail consultant Sally Bain said: “House of Fraser has needed to boost its own-label for some time. Having launched Linea, it seemed to sit there and was in need of investment. This looks like definitely the right strategy, but needs to go further.”

Spanish fashion labels Cortefiel and Springfield will make their UK debut next month in an exclusive deal with Debenhams.

The concessions will open in Debenhams’ Oxford Street and Guildford stores, with womenswear collections from both brands, as well as a menswear offer from Springfield. Cortefiel is one of Spain’s largest fashion groups, spanning 48 countries worldwide.