Harvey Nichols is considering whether to expand the scope of its planned information website in order to handle transactions, the Guardian reported last week.

Recent research indicated that a transactional site would not generate sufficient sales to make a profit, but the board is still considering the issue. The group's e-commerce initiatives were on target and the informational website would be operational next month.

The company reported a 10 per cent rise in first-half pre-tax profits to £6.7m last week, but said like for like sales had slowed during the first eight weeks of the second half.

The chairman, Dickson Poon, said the recent volatile trading was partly explained by the fuel blockades, the floods, and persistent adverse weather conditions.