(Adds Aldi, Dunelm and Stonegate Pub)
Jan 7 (Reuters) - British retailers are giving updates on Christmas trading, by far their busiest and most important period of the year, stretching from “Black Friday” on Nov. 23 to early January clearance sales.
Investors had been braced for bad news after a major profit warning from the one-time online darling ASOS Plc last month capped a torrid year for the sector marred by shop closures and bankruptcies.
On the high street the run up to Christmas was marked by discounting while the number of shoppers hitting the shops after Dec. 25 fell on previous years.
Following are the highlights:
Reported on Jan. 7.
Aldi UK, the British arm of the German discount supermarket, said its sales increased around 10 percent to almost 1 billion pounds ($1.28 billion) in December, driven by increased demand for its premium ranges.
Reported on Jan. 7.
Homeware retailer Dunelm Group Plc said it expects higher pretax profit for the first half of the year and forecast full-year pretax profit above the top range of analysts’ estimates if the industry continues to grow at its current pace.
Reported on Jan. 4.
Stonegate Pub Company IPO-SPC.L
The owner of Britain’s Slug and Lettuce pub chain reported higher sales over the Christmas period, the first major British bar owner to report on holiday trading in a sector facing changes in drinking habits and shaky consumer sentiment.
Reported on Jan. 3.
A late surge in online demand helped British clothing retailer Next to increase sales in the Christmas period, confounding fears of tough festive trading and lifting shares across the battered sector.
Reported on Jan. 2.
John Lewis said sales in its department stores rose 4.5 percent in the week ending December 29, boosted by strong demand on Christmas Eve and “a confident start to post-Christmas clearance both online and in shops”.
Reported on Dec. 29.
Music retailer HMV called in the administrators for the second time in five years after it said demand for CDs and DVDs was disappearing. One of the best known names on the high street, it plans to keep the business running while it tries to find a buyer. ($1 = 0.7841 pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton and Noor Zainab Hussain Editing by Keith Weir, Bernard Orr)