Sales rose 4.9 per cent to £1.91 billion in the six weeks to December 31.
The like-for-like department store sales went up 2.7 per cent and same-store supermarket takings up 2.8 per cent.
Chairman Sir Charlie May- field said: “Trading profit is under pressure. This reflects greater changes taking place across the retail sector.”
Beauty boosts Debenhams
GREATER focus on beauty products and using excess space for food concessions to attract shoppers boosted sales at Debenhams.
The department store, which is shifting away from fashion sales and reducing its promotions, said underlying sales grew by 3.5 per cent in the 18 weeks to January 7.
CEO Sergio Bucher highlighted strong sales of beauty and gift products; food service expansion included new partnerships with James Martin Kitchen and Franco Manca.
Shares rose 3p to 57¼p.
Capital loss for Barratt
BARRATT Developments built fewer homes in the second half of last year after a slowdown in the London market.
Completions fell nearly 6 per cent to 7,180 despite hitting a nine-year high outside London at 6,813.
The number of homes it built in the capital more than halved to 367.
Chief executive David Thomas noted an “increasingly competitive land market” in London and said it could build fewer homes overall this financial year.
But consumer demand was “strong”, thanks to mortgage availability and government support. Barratt’s half-year pretax profit is set to rise 7 per cent to £315million.
Tesco has festive joy
TESCO boss Dave Lewis hailed “another significant step in the turnaround of the business” as it built on its first quarterly market share gain since 2011 with healthy Christmas sales growth.
The supermarket giant followed up a 1.8 per cent rise in UK same-store takings in the 13 weeks to 26 November with growth of 0.7 per cent over the following six weeks.
Food sales jumped by 1.3 per cent over the festive period, while clothing and toys grew by 4.3 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively. Lewis said more customers had shopped at Tesco over the combined 19-week period.