• Like-for-likes increase 2.7%
  • Cash gross margins up
  • Beauty is star performer

House of Fraser notched up like-for-like sales growth of 2.7% over Christmas.

The department store group said cash gross margins were up 1% in the six weeks to December 31.

The retailer’s bosses believe the coming year will be challenging, but that they have firm foundations in place to ensure success.

House of Fraser reported that total sales also rise by 2.7% during its six-day Black Friday promotion, when online accounted for 41% of sales.

In the two weeks to December 31, House of Fraser “delivered record sales figures”.

House of Fraser chief executive Nigel Oddy said: “We are very pleased to report a solid overall performance this Christmas, driven in part by very strong online demand over Black Friday and good Boxing Day week sales.

“In addition, we are delighted by the results achieved in our recently refurbished stores, which have consistently appeared among our top performing stores over the Christmas period.

“Our recent performance is evidence that our multichannel proposition, combined with the huge breadth of products and brands we provide, is working well for our customers.”

House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin, said: “This is a good performance during our key trading period, having been supported by the investment we have made in our stores, our people and our core infrastructure over the last two years.

“We commenced laying the foundations for the transformation of the business in 2016 in anticipation of a challenging retail environment, and as we look forward to 2017 and beyond we must continue to adapt as the retail sector evolves.

“With this strong trading performance, we remain confident that we will continue to deliver a compelling proposition for our customers.”