House of Fraser plans 2016 China debut

House of Fraser: Sunflower dress, €77 (Dickins & Jones)Open Gallery 1
House of Fraser: Sunflower dress, €77 (Dickins & Jones)

British department store House of Fraser said it would open its first shops in China next year and start trading there online, as strong demand in Britain helped annual profits rise 7 percent.

The company, sold a year ago to China’s Sanpower Group, said on Tuesday three large stores in Nanjing, Chongqing and Xuzhou would open in 2016/17 and that online trading would begin there and in markets such as Australia.

A second franchise store in Abu Dhabi will also open soon with additional openings in the Middle East set for 2016.

The company on Tuesday posted record sales of 1.3 billion pounds ($1.93 billion) in Britain, where it trades from 59 stores. Adjusted core earnings for the year to Jan. 31 rose to 64.4 million pounds.

Revenue at stores open more than a year rose 2.2 percent and were up 32 percent online after a website revamp and improved delivery options, the firm said.

Sales for the first 11 weeks of its new fiscal year were up 6.5 percent with a further improvement in its gross margin rate.

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