• H1 EBITDA slipped 6.2% to GBP12.2m
  • Like-for-like sales rose 5.3%
  • Same-store sales up 3.9% in last four weeks 

Department store retailer House of Fraser has posted a drop in first half profits after the costs associated with the opening of a new distribution centre offset a rise in sales.

The company also said it remains cautious for the rest of the year, but expects to see growth despite challenging market conditions - noting that same-store sales have recovered in the last four weeks to rise 3.9%.

In the six months to 30 July, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped 6.2% to GBP12.2m (US$18.8m), down from GBP13.0m a year earlier.

Like-for-like sales growth had slowed to 1.9% in the last seven weeks, compared with a rise of 5.3% in the first half of the year.

"Our first half performance is testament to the fact that we are taking the right steps to fulfil our customers' needs," said chief executive John King.

He added: "We have experienced a slower start to the second half, however we are encouraged by the pickup in the subsequent weeks."