Debenhams share price in focus as company releases half-year results
Debenhams Plc (LON:DEB) has this morning updated investors on its half-year results. Here are the highlights from the company statement;
· Gross transaction value (“GTV”) up 2.3% to £1,602.4m; · Group like-for-like sales up 1.3%; · Group gross margin rate maintained, with savings in markdown offset by price investment and sales mix; · Profit before tax up 4.3% at £88.9m (2014: £85.2m); · Reported EPS up 5.4% to 5.9p (2014: 5.6p)
· Interim dividend of 1.0p per share maintained; · Stock value reduced by 5.6% to £335.4m (2014: £355.4m), with terminal stock of 2.9% in line with long-term average; · Net debt reduced by £64.2m to £297.3m due to strong operational cashflows and some timing benefits; · New Season Spectacular brought forward into H1 to align with payday cycle, enhancing LFL sales by c1% and profits before tax by c£3m but diluting gross margin rate by c10bps for the period.
Michael Sharp, Chief Executive of Debenhams, said:
“I am pleased with the good progress we have made against the strategic priorities we set out last year. We have improved our multi-channel offer and successfully introduced the premium delivery options that we promised for the important peak period, which met with a positive response from our customers. The continued refocusing of our promotional strategy delivered a strong increase in full price sales, an improvement in value perception and enabled us to end the half with an improved stock position. Overall we delivered a good first half performance despite a difficult clothing season in Autumn and we are on track to achieve full year expectations.
“Looking forward, our customers tell us they are feeling a little more optimistic about the economic outlook, but they remain cautious. Accordingly we are continuing to plan prudently in the near term, while remaining focused on our strategic priorities, and are continuing to invest to ensure that our business is well-positioned to drive sustainable growth in the longer term.”
As of 07:12 BST, Thursday, 16 April, Debenhams Plc share price is 79.60p.