House of Fraser reports record sales, plans 2016 China debut
It's been a good year for British department store retailer House of Fraser, which saw record sales in the 53 weeks to January 31, 2015. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 5.8% and the gross total value increased to £1.3bn.
The company's gross profit in the period was a record £460.2m, up £29.6m, and it reported adjusted EBITDA of £64.4m, up 7.0% on the prior year (£60.2m.)
Customers' interest in shopping online continues to rise, with online sales at HoF up 32% on a 52-week basis. Online sales now represent 15.4% of sales. The retailer also saw sales growth in all categories and routes to market.
In the period, HoF redesigned its website, launched new house brands, strengthened its premium offer, and continued to enhance its store environments.
The company, sold a year ago to China's Sanpower Group, also said on Tuesday that three large stores in Nanjing, Chongqing and Xuzhou would open in 2016/17 and that online trading would begin there and in markets such as Australia.
A second franchise store in Abu Dhabi will also open soon with additional openings in the Middle East set for 2016, not to mention six store upgrades planned for the UK in the coming year.
Nigel Oddy, CEO of House of Fraser said: "Our successful House Brand business was broadened by the introduction of new brands and extended into new locations, helping to drive sales growth of 10% in the year. We have strengthened our relationships with our brand partners and continued our collaborative approach to improving store environments which has helped us to deliver sales growth from our bricks & mortar stores."
Sales for the first 11 weeks of its new fiscal year were up 6.5 percent with a further improvement in its gross margin rate.
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