Debenhams surprised the market with a 2.4% increase in like-for-like sales for its first half trading period ending 3 March 2012, against the same period last year.
The retailer witnessed like-for-like growth of 1.4% including VAT for the period as a whole which was an improvement on the position already reported for the first 18 weeks of 2012.
Michael Sharp, chief executive of Debenhams, said he was ‘pleased’ with the overall performance which came in the face of challenging conditions across the UK retail sector.
He explained: “Our priority in the second half is to continue executing our strategy, centred on the four pillars of focusing on UK retail, delivering a compelling customer proposition, increasing availability and choice through multi-channel and expanding the brand internationally.
“While it is prudent to remain cautious about the health of the wider economy and the impact this may have on consumer behaviour in the short-term, we remain comfortable with the outlook for the full year.
“Over the medium-term, we are confident of the benefits that our strategy will bring to Debenhams.”
Debenhams will report its first half results for the 26 weeks to 3rd March 2012 on Thursday 19th April 2012.
Until last week, Company Watch had rated Debenhams’ financial health score at 11/100 which put it within its monitoring zone.