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More trouble in store

House of Fraser slumps to £44m loss

House of FraserDepartment store chain House of Fraser’s woes showed little respite in figures showing a loss of £43.9 million for 2017.

The chain’s new Chinese owner, C.Banner, said the loss, against a pre-tax profit of £1.5m for the previous year, was accompanied by a 6.3% fall in sales to £787.8m.

Hamley’s owner C.Banner, which recently acquired a 51% stake in House of Fraser, blamed Brexit, terror attacks in London and online competition for the poor performance.

Company documents state: “The Brexit referendum and the UK’s resultant decision to leave the European Union and the terrorist attack in London, combined with a rapidly evolving retail market, produced a period of uncertainty and volatility that resulted in a difficult trading environment for the whole retail industry in the UK.”

The figures come amid a renegotiation of rents on some stores and plans to close underperforming ones.

C.Banner said House of Fraser would become “more stable” after completing its restructuring plan.


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