LONDON, April 15 Debenhams, Britain's
second largest department store group, said it was confident
improvements it was making to its business would deliver some
cheer for investors, as it posted a 24.5 percent fall in first
The company, which has 240 stores in 29 countries, said on
Tuesday group pretax profit for the 26 weeks to March 1 was 85.2
million pounds ($142.58 million), down on the 112.8 million
pounds posted a year ago.
The fall was in line with guidance given in a December
profit warning when the firm said its margins had been hit by
heavy discounting that nonetheless failed to spark a late surge
in festive spending.
($1 = 0.5976 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Maidment; editing by Kate Holton)