HoF swings to heady loss as Brexit hits sales figures

Jenners owner House of Fraser swung to a £43.9 million loss in 2017 as sales took a knock and it was hit by costs at its Chinese arm.

The group owns Edinburgh's famous Jenners store. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The deficit compares with a profit of £1.5m the year before and came as group sales fell 6.3 per cent to £787.8m in 2017.

The figures were released as part of a takeover of the firm by C.Banner, the owner of Hamleys.

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“The Brexit referendum and the UK’s resultant decision to leave the European Union and the terrorist attack in London, combined with a rapidly evolving retail market, produced a period of uncertainty and volatility that resulted in a difficult trading environment for the whole retail industry in the UK,” the firm noted.

The Chinese group plans to take a 51 per cent stake in House of Fraser if the chain pushes through a turnaround plan, set to include store closures.

C.Banner pointed out that the annual losses for the House of Fraser group included the start-up and operating costs of House of Fraser China. The store chain has Scottish roots.