Debenhams suffers drop in first-half profits

Published on: 15th April 2014

Department store group Debenhams has today reported a 24.5% slide in profits for the first half of its financial year amid tough competition on the high street.

The retailer posted a pre-tax profit of £85.2m for the six months to 1st March, down from £112.8m a year earlier, as a squeeze on margins offset a 1.7% rise in revenues to £1.3b.

Michael Sharp, chief executive, said: “Whilst this has been a challenging first half, we are clear on the issues and are taking decisive action to address them. In particular, we are focused on building a more competitive multi-channel offer for our customers and improving the operational effectiveness of the overall business.”

The interim dividend, to be paid on 4 July, was held steady at 1p a share, and Sharp said the total dividend for the year is likely to remain unchanged at 3.4p.

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