DEPARTMENT store chain House of Fraser yesterday unveiled a 57 per cent leap in online sales as a string of deals with “premium” brands –such as Agent Provocateur, Hugo Boss Woman and Jo Malone – boosted revenues.
Like-for-like sales at the company, which was founded as a drapers shop in Glasgow in 1849, edged ahead by 3.3 per cent, pushing group turnover up to £522.1 million in the six months to 27 July.
Adjusted profits were flat at £7.5m after the group – whose shareholders include Ayrshire tycoon Sir Tom Hunter – pumped investment into its online business and its “House Brand” own-labels.
Chief executive John King said: “We took deliberate action to continue to invest in our multi-channel and House Brand businesses, which has meant higher costs in the first half, resulting in profits being level. However, we expect this investment will deliver growth for the second half.”
Like-for-like sales growth has slowed to 1.1 per cent during the eight weeks to 21 September, but margins have continued to rise.