Week ahead: A fall in profits for Debenhams

RETAILERS snap into focus this week with updates due from a host of well-known high street names including Debenhams, Mothercare and WH Smith.

Debenhams is tipped to post a largely flat half-year result on Thursday as lower margin sales drag on its turnaround plans. Picture: TSPL

Debenhams is tipped to post a largely flat half-year result on Thursday as lower margin sales drag on the department store chain’s turnaround plans.

Analysts at Numis predict that the retailer, which has 248 stores in 28 countries, will deliver largely unchanged pre-tax profits of £83.5 million as it sold more lower margin trading categories such as beauty items.

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In the 19 weeks to 10 January, the firm’s same-store trading fell 0.8 per cent due to warm ­autumn weather which impacted clothing sales.


• Carr’s Milling – An update on trading at the agricultural group that owns a state–of–the–art flour mill in Kirkcaldy is expected.


• BRC sales monitor – The British Retail Consortium sales monitor for March is expected to show decent sales growth.

• Inflation data – It is highly likely that the UK experienced mild deflation last month with consumer prices edging down 0.1 per cent year–on–year.CPI stood at zero in February.

• Maison Bleue – The Edinburgh restaurant stalwart will host its post–refurb party.


• JD Sports Fashion – The City will be keen to hear if the retailer has kept up its momentum following a decent festive trading performance.

• Federal Reserve – The US central bank publishes its latest “Beige Book” report.


• Debenhams – The group is expected to post flat half–year profits as lower margin sales drag on the chain’s turnaround plans.

• WH Smith – The magazines and books retailer is expected to show further progress on its joint strategy of expanding its travel business and cost cutting at its high street stores when it posts its interim results.

• Mothercare – On a busy day for the retail sector, the baby goods chain will want to show that it is achieving more full–price sales and revamping its UK stores when it posts an update on trading.


• Jobs data – Figures are expected to show that the labour market is seeing further solid improvement, with the claimant count unemployment measure down in March.

• Havelock Europa –Full–year results are due from the store fitting group which employs hundreds of staff in Fife.