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Joy at Debenhams; Inbrief.

DEPARTMENT store Debenhams posted an 18.6% rise in half-year profits today and predicted stable trading ahead. The retailer, which has 164 stores, said pre-tax profits beat market expectations, jumping to pounds 123.6m in the six months to February 27, compared with pounds 104.2m in the same period last year. Debenhams, which has proved robust during the recession, said the second half trading environment would be "broadly neutral" for the firm. Debenhams has looked to focus on its exclusive ranges such as its Designers at Debenhams lines, which include clothing from John Rocha, Jasper Conran, Betty Jackson and FrostFrench.

The move away from concessions has temporarily dented sales growth but boosted profit margins and the retailer has shifted its stores around to give its own-bought products more prominence.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2010
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