Frasers has reported that group sales rose 4.4% to £2.77bn in the six months to 29 October 2023, helped by a “strong underlying performance from Sports Direct” and a number of new store openings.
However, the group blamed a “softening” in the global luxury market as underlying sales at its upmarket division, which includes the House of Fraser department stores and designer casual wear chain Flannels, fell more than 11%.
The group’s sports chain performance was also championed for mitigating a decline in Game UK and Studio Retail. The group is “confident” it can achieve its full-year underlying profit before tax guidance, expected to land in the £500-550mn range.
“We have delivered a strong performance in the first half of the year, with great momentum as we head into the Christmas trading period,” noted Murray.
“The elevation strategy continues to drive strong trading performance across the business with good growth in Sports Direct supported by our brand partners.
“Our long-term ambitions for our premium lifestyle business remain unchanged although it is likely that progress will remain subdued for the short to medium term in the face of a softer luxury market however, we continue to invest with confidence in our unique proposition.”
Frasers has opened 18 more of its Flannels stores in the half-year, taking the total to 76. In November, it transformed a former Debenhams unit in Gateshead’s Metrocentre into a new ‘revolutionary’ store for both Sports Direct and Flannels.
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