• H1 like-for-like sales up 1.7% 
  • Online sales up 60% 
  • Company "encouraged" by strong start to second half 

Online sales have driven department store retailer House of Fraser to report a 1.7% increase in half-year like-for-like sales amid difficult economic trading conditions.

The retailer said online sales jumped 60% during the first six months of the year. EBITDA reached GBP12.5m (US$20.2m) during the second quarter, compared to GBP12.4m the same period last year.

The positive results were driven by good uptake on the new season, the Linea, Biba and Howick brands performing well, combined with store refurbishments.

House of Fraser said it was "encouraged" by a strong start to the second half as like-for-like sales rose 4.6% and gross profit was up 3% during the first eight weeks. 

"We are pleased to report a solid set of results despite difficult market conditions. Our strategy to invest in our stores and online proposition as well as further develop our product offering will continue to drive growth," House of Fraser said.

"We will continue to focus on further improving customer service and maintaining the operational efficiency of the business and tight control over costs and cash. We believe that, with this strategy, we are well placed to continue to deliver for the remainder of the year."