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Retailer forecaste higher takings.

Department store group House of Fraser today forecast "satisfactory" half-year after benefiting from improved sales and cost savings.

The company, which has 46 UK stores, said it remained positive about its prospects following a 0.4% improvement in takings for the first 19 weeks of its financial year up to June 12.

Profit margins were 2,5% higher after a review identified savings of pounds 13m for the retailer, which also owns Rackhams and Army & Navy Stores.

The update comes three months after House of Fraser reported an 11% rise in annual underlying profits to pounds 27m. Analysts expect an improvement to about pounds 29m this financial year.

Chief executive John Coleman said sales would be boosted by the opening of four new stores this year, adding: "We are pleased with the current trading performance and the work undertaken to manage costs."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2004
Words:142
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