• H1 EBITDA rises 22% to GBP13m
  • Gross transaction value up 5.5% to GBP480.6m
  • Hails success of new Biba women’s wear brand

Rising sales of fashion accessories and own brands helped department store operator House of Fraser to a 22% increase in first-half earnings, with sales up 5.5%.

Like-for-like sales in the six months to 31 July were up 8.4%, the privately held company said, thanks to strong demand for its House Brands and soaring online sales.

House of Fraser said like-for-like sales in the first seven weeks of the second half had risen 10%, boosted by the successful launch of its exclusive Biba women’s wear brand on 9 September.

“We clearly are very encouraged by the strong demand for our House Brands from our customers, and particularly pleased with the recent launch of Biba,” said chief executive John King.

“We expect to see the improving margin impact as these become a larger part of our sales mix.”