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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 06:45 GMT 07:45 UK
House of Fraser sees losses widen
House of Fraser store
House of Fraser is just the latest retailer to warn of tough trading
House of Fraser has described its half-year pre-tax loss of 3.1m as a "robust performance in an extremely difficult trading environment".

Reporting its results for the six months to 30 July, the figure is a widening of its 1.2m loss for the same period last year.

The department store chain recently announced plans to close two flagship central London stores.

It is the latest retailer to warn of poor trading on the UK High Street.

We have made a great deal of progress in the period despite an extremely difficult trading environment
House of Fraser boss John Coleman

Others who have also recently said conditions were tough include French Connection, MFI, B&Q and Matalan.

House of Fraser is to shut its Dickins & Jones outlet in Regent Street, and Barkers department store in Kensington, in January 2006.

Its half year group sales fell to 288.6m, compared to 290.2m for the same period in 2004.

Two takeovers

The company went on the acquisition trail during the six months, buying two smaller rivals.

It purchased Jenners in April for 14.1m and Beatties in August for 69.4m.

"We have made a great deal of progress in the period despite an extremely difficult trading environment," said House of Fraser chef executive John Coleman.

"We have continued to strengthen our proposition with the opening of the new stores and the acquisitions of Jenners and, more latterly Beatties.

"This, together with our focus on offering customers the best selection of branded merchandise and our commitment to tight financial management has ensured the Group is well positioned for the all important Christmas period and to deliver further growth."

House of Fraser to buy Beatties
28 Jun 05 |  Business
Beatties in rival takeover talks
20 Jun 05 |  West Midlands
Sales suffer at House of Fraser
16 Jun 05 |  Business
Tough market hits House of Fraser
04 Jan 05 |  Business
Sales boost for House of Fraser
29 Sep 04 |  Business
House of Fraser holdings sold off
13 Sep 04 |  Business

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