Debenhams disappoints, Aldi impresses as Xmas updates appear

By Paul Norman - Thursday, January 04, 2018 12:20

Department store Debenhams' shares fell 20% today as it said annual profits would be lower than expected following disappointing Christmas sales.

The update contrasts with a better than expected trading update for the key period from UK retailer Next yesterday.

Debenhams said underlying pre-tax profits were now likely to be between £55m and £65m for they year against analyst expectations of around £83m.

Like-for-like sales in the UK fell 2.6% in the 17 weeks to 30 December. Within this trading had improved over the six-week Christmas period because of discounting, with like-for-like sales up 1.2%, but the first week of the post-Christmas sale was worse than expected.

"The market has been challenging and particularly promotional in some of our key seasonal categories and we have responded in order to remain competitive for our customers, which has impacted our profit performance," said Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher.

German discount supermarket chain Aldi this morning posted its 

record turnover in the UK for the Christmas period.

Aldi said it broke the £10bn sales barrier in the UK and Ireland for the first time thanks to record turnover over Christmas as shoppers focused on luxury products and cheap vegetables.

The German supermarket said total UK sales were more than 15pc higher during December compared to the same month in 2016.

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