Britain's second largest department store group, Debenhams, on Tuesday posted a 5.1 per cent year-on-year climb in full-year net profits amid higher sales and said it was off to a strong start in the new fiscal year. The operator of 99 stores, which generates more than half of its turnover from apparel, said pre-tax profits rose to £153.6 million from £146.1m in 2001 with sales up by a similar percentage to £1.69 billion from £1.61bn.