House of Fraser reports 29% online sales hike in first-half results

House of Fraser has reported a 29 per cent spike in online sales in the first half of the year, accounting for 14.2 per cent of overall sales.

The department store, which was bought by Chinese retail conglomerate Nanjing Cenbest earlier this month for £480m, saw total gross transaction value reach £542m, driven by a 4.2 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

Adjusted Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose in the first half to £8.6m – up from £7.5m in the same period last year, which the company attributed to continued investment in its House brands and multichannel strategy.

Store sales rose 1.2 per cent year on year, while net debt dropped to £218.2m in the weeks up until 26 July 2014, compared to £225.6m at 27 July 2013.

House of Fraser chief executive John King said the group was “excited” about its future growth prospects in the UK and abroad.

“Earlier this month, Nanjing Cenbest completed the acquisition of House of Fraser, providing us with a strong platform from which to expand our business in international markets and to further develop and invest in our multichannel offering, our store portfolio, growing our House Brands and introducing exciting premium brands.

“As a business, we are committing £150 million of investment in the UK over the next four years to further improve the shopping experience for our customers, through better store environments and developments to our online platform.”

House of Fraser has 59 stores across the UK and Ireland.

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