House of Fraser has published its financial performance for the 52 weeks to 25 January 2014, noting a considerable increase in online sales.
E-commerce and m-commerce sales increased 41 per cent, representing 12.2 per cent of sales.
Overall, the retailer reported record sales, up 3.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis to £1.2 billion. This resulted in its highest ever gross profit of £430.6m , up £26.8m.
CEO John King attributed the success to the enhancement of the Group’s website, including a redesign of the site and the expanded product offering with the introduction of new brands.
“The improved performance has been driven by the continued success of our key strategic pillars. Our online business has performed exceptionally strongly and has substantial future potential. Our House Brands sales grew significantly in the year and we achieved our highest House Brand gross margin rate to date,” he said.
“Overall, we have continued to enhance our premium department store positioning and this is reflected in our positive current trading.”
He also commented on the recently announced acquisition by Nanjing Cenbest saying he was looking forward to “further developing the business domestically and internationally.”
Don McCarthy, the outgoing chairman of House of Fraser added: “ The acquisition will allow House of Fraser’s management team to continue to grow and invest in the business in the UK and Ireland, provide a strong platform from which to expand the brand in international markets and to further develop our multi-channel, stores and premium fashion offering.”
McCarthy is set to depart following the completed transaction with the Chinese conglomerate.