Like-for-like sales rose 4.6% during the quarter

Like-for-like sales rose 4.6% during the quarter

UK department store retailer House of Fraser has posted an "encouraging" third-quarter performance with improvements in profit, sales and margins, and remains confident in its outlook. 

Adjusted EBITDA reached GBP2m (US$3m) for the 13 weeks to 31 October, compared to GBP1.4m in the same period a year ago. 

Like-for-like sales, excluding VAT, were up 4.6% year-on-year. Online sales, excluding VAT, increased 27.7%. The company said it witnessed growth across branded, concession and in-house brands, with positive growth across all categories. 

In addition, both stores and online delivered positive margin performance, with further improvement seen during the opening weeks of the fourth quarter. 

"We are pleased with the continued sales and profit growth for the quarter and year to date, underlining the success of our multi-channel proposition and our premium branded offering," said CEO Nigel Oddy, adding: "We remain confident of delivering further growth in the full year and thereafter."

Conlumino analyst Sophie McCarthy described the results as "encouraging". She noted: "Despite this quarter's results indicating a slight slowdown in performance from first half trading, overall House of Fraser is on track to deliver a solid set of full year figures."

The rise in pre-tax profit, she added, indicates that sales growth "has not been at the expense of profit management, leaving it in a good position as the market ramps up for Christmas trading".