• Profit before tax up 4.2% to GBP158.3
  • Sales increased 2.5% to GBP2.2bn
  • Like-for-like sales grew 1.6%

Debenhams has raised its multi-channel and international growth goals after recording full-year sales and profit increases.

The company today (25 October) said that group profit before tax increased 4.2% to GBP158.3m over the year ended 1 September. Sales increased 2.5% over the period to GBP2.2bn, rising 2.0% in the UK to GBP1.8bn, and international revenue was up 4.6% to GBP369.5m.

Like-for-like sales increased 1.6%, excluding VAT, over the year.

The retailer said its own bought product ranges continued to perform well over the year, "despite a small decline in the own bought sales mix during 2012," due to the addition of new concessions as part of the store modernisation, as well as an improvement in existing concessions.

Gross margin was down 30 basis points over the year, which the company attributed to a weather-related sales mix change towards health and beauty, which has a lower gross margin than own bought clothing, which accounted for 10 basis points of the decrease, and by higher concession sales, which accounted for the other 20 basis points.

On the back of the results, extended its international expansion plans from 130 stores to 150 stores over the next five years and extend its medium-term multi-channel sales target from GBP500m in sales to GBP600m.

"We have made good progress in 2012, achieving higher sales and earnings growth despite a very difficult market," said chief executive Michael Sharp.

"I believe the strong sales momentum we achieved in the second half of 2012 is clear evidence that our strategy to build a leading international, multi-channel brand is working and this has prompted us to be more ambitious with our medium-term targets for the growth of our online and international operations."