Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Debenhams shares slip as sales dip

Shares in department store chain Debenhams slid 2.8% after it reported falling sales amid "volatile trading".

Like-for-like sales dropped 0.9% in the 15 weeks to 17 June, and it added that May was "a tough month for retailers".

It said 2017 profits should be in the expected range, but added that if market volatility continued, profits could be at the lower end of forecasts.

Its comments weighed on rival retail shares, with Marks and Spencer down 2.2%.

Staying in the retail sector, Carpetright reported a sharp fall in profits but was upbeat about recent trading
Full-year pre-tax profits at the floor coverings specialist sank to £0.9m from £12.8m last year, with much of the fall due to the firm putting aside more money to cover onerous lease costs on loss-making stores.

But shares in the company jumped 8% after it said recent trading had been "encouraging" with UK like-for-like sales up 2%.

By midday, the benchmark FTSE 100 share index was barely changed, up just 1.21 points at 7,448.01.

On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar at $1.2747 but was down 0.5% against the euro at 1.1320 euros.

The euro jumped on Tuesday morning after a speech by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was interpreted as suggesting that the bank's stimulus package - which includes a huge bond-buying programme and negative interest rates - could be tweaked.

Mr Draghi noted that the risk of deflation had been averted, although he added that "considerable" monetary support was still required.

BBC    News.

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