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House of Fraser issues £250m bond and announces focus on multichannel growth

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Multichannel sales at House of Fraser rose by 130% during the year to January 29, and continued to grow in the last 13 weeks, up an impressive 107%. The department store group’s chairman Don McCarthy said the growth strategy going ahead is to continue to add new brands to the existing portfolio in stores and online, and to invest in multichannel. Across the group, comparable sales for the year to 29 January were up 4.1%. The group made an underlying operating profit of £69.7m on turnover of £1.1bn.

Alongside its financial results statement this week, the company announced that it has issued a £250m bond to “put in place a long-term financial structure for growth”. It is thought the bond issue will help refinance debt taken on when the Icelandic investment group Baugur took the business private in a £450m deal five years ago.

“We have delivered another strong trading performance, despite the tough consumer environment,” said McCarthy. “We will continue to focus on building our market position as the leading premium department store group in UK and Ireland, introducing and developing more exciting brands and accelerating our multichannel activity.”

House of Fraser, said that EBITDA soared 44% to £85.7m over the year, on gross transaction values up 2.3% at £1.1bn.

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