With energy prices on the increase and the announcement of business rates rising, many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. However, not Debenhams, not only have they declared a rise in profits, but they have also confirmed that they plan to open nine new commercial properties and revamp many current ones.
Profits before tax were up by 8.3 per cent at the end of September of this year. Sales were also increased by 1.2 per cent before value added tax (VAT) was incorporated.
Michael Sharp, Chief Executive, expressed: “We have demonstrated the resilience of the department store model by trading well in a challenging market. It is right to remain cautious about the strength of consumer confidence over the next 12 months given the uncertain economic outlook. We will therefore continue to run the business with tight management of costs and stocks.”
Two of the nine new Debenhams stores are to open in South Yorkshire. One of the stores will be built in Barnsley in 2014. The commercial property in Barnsley will be situated in the market area in the centre of the town.
The second new store in South Yorkshire will be opened in Chesterfield in either 2012 or 2013. This commercial property in Chesterfield will be located on the Ravenside Retail Park, just outside of the town centre.
Speaking of the new stores, Mr Sharp, put across: “This is a strong signal that the UK high street is alive and well and we are backing it 100 per cent. It’s great news for job seekers as well as shoppers across the country.”
“It also shows a very real commitment to our clear focus on growing our UK retail business. I’m delighted that over the next few years more customers than ever before will have access to the UK’s top name beauty brands and our exclusive and ever-growing designer range at Debenhams offer,” Mr Sharp added.
Nevertheless, although Debenhams have reported growth in terms of profit and property expansion in the last year, they still have over £383.7 million worth of debt. Although this figure seems ridiculously high to the majority of us, Debenhams managed to pay off 34 per cent of their debt in the last year. So if they carry on doing as well as they have been, they could potentially be debt free in just over two years from now (as long as they don’t borrow anymore).
The company mainly operates under the high street name that is well recognised by all of us in the UK, ‘Debenhams’ but the company is run by a different name in Denmark; ‘Magasin du Nord’. Debenhams currently has 169 commercial properties in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark. The company also has 64 franchises in 25 countries.
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