Department store chain Debenhams says increased homeware sales helped offset lower womenswear sales as it lifted like for like sales.
The cold and wet Spring disrupted its clothing sales, particularly womenswear but it had lifted like for like sales by 3.1% in the 16 weeks to 23 June by boosting footfall around events such as Easter, Mother's Day, the Diamond Jubilee and month-ends.
However it warned that gross margin would be trimmed by 30 basis points as women switched from buying clothing in Spring because of the weather to lower margin health and beauty products.
Online sales jumped by 34.9% and the chain says it is now the eleventh largest UK online retailer by volume of traffic.
'We have continued to make good progress and I am particularly pleased with the like-for-like sales trends in the second half of the year. Debenhams has again demonstrated the efficacy of our strategy to build a leading international, multi-channel brand and our ability to trade well in difficult market conditions, as well as the inherent strength of the department store model,' says Michael Sharp, Debenhams chief executive.
'Looking forward, there is little sign of an imminent recovery in consumer confidence. Our focus for the remainder of this financial year and into next year will therefore be the remorseless execution of the four pillars of our strategy which we believe will bring success irrespective of the wider economy.'