January 18, 2019 / 3:11 PM / 5 months ago

Factbox - How Britain's retailers fared over Christmas

(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 bracing for bad news after a major profit warning from ASOS Plc (ASOS.L) 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 footfalls in shops after Dec. 25 fell compared to previous years.

Following are the highlights: Reported on Jan. 17Associated British Foods Plc (ABF.L)The Primark owner said total sales at the fashion chain rose 4 percent at constant currency, though like-for-like sales saw “a modest decline” in the 16 weeks to Jan. 5. Reported on Jan. 15Boohoo Group Plc (BOOH.L)The British online fashion retailer bucked the trend of a tough Christmas for clothing retailers, reporting robust sales and raising its full-year revenue forecast. Reported on Jan. 14JD Sports Fashion Plc (JD.L)Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer forecast annual profit at the higher end of expectations on Monday as the company refused to cut prices in a tough retail environment. Reported on Jan. 11AO World Plc (AO.L)The UK online electrical retailer said on Friday sales growth slowed in its home market in the Christmas quarter, though it maintained its forecast for the full year. Reported on Jan. 10Tesco Plc (TSCO.L)Britain’s biggest retailer beat forecasts with a 2.2 percent rise in like-for-like sales in Britain over Christmas, saying it outperformed the market in food, clothing and general merchandise. Reported on Jan. 10John Lewis PartnershipBritain’s biggest department store operator, said its sales rose 1.4 percent to 2.2 billion pounds in the seven weeks to Jan. 5, but said it still expected full-year profits to fall substantially. Reported on Jan. 10Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS.L)The British retailer suffered another quarter of falling underlying sales in both clothing and food. Reported on Jan. 10Debenhams Plc DEB.LThe British department store group is in talks with lenders and looking to bring in new sources of funding as it battles to survive following another plunge in sales.

Reported on Jan. 9J Sainsbury Plc (SBRY.L)Britain’s No. 2 supermarket chain reported a worse-than-expected fall in Christmas sales, confirming that Britain’s second-largest supermarket group has fallen behind competitors as it battles to acquire smaller rival Asda. Reported on Jan. 9Mothercare Plc’s (MTC.L)The British baby products retailer’s third-quarter group sales slipped 18 percent on lower online sales of baby products and fewer discounts, which led to a double digit dip in UK like-for-like revenue. Reported on Jan. 9Ted Baker Plc (TED.L)The fashion retailer reported higher sales in the holiday period, boosted by a surge in online demand and said it was “business as usual” at the brand as an investigation into reports related to the conduct of its founder continue.

Reported on Jan. 8WM Morrison Supermarket Plc (MRW.L)Britain’s fourth largest supermarket group missed Christmas sales forecasts as weak consumer demand hit its retail and wholesale businesses. Reported on Jan. 7Aldi UK [ALDIEI.UL]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. 3Next Plc (NXT.L)A late surge in online demand helped the British clothing retailer to increase sales in the Christmas period, confounding fears of tough festive trading and lifting shares across the battered sector. Reported on Jan. 2John Lewis [JLPLC.UL]Britain’s biggest department store operator said sales in its department stores rose 4.5 percent in the week ending Dec. 29, boosted by strong demand on Christmas Eve and “a confident start to post-Christmas clearance both online and in shops”. Reported on Dec. 29HMVThe music retailer 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.

Reporting by Kate Holton, Noor Zainab Hussain and Samantha Machado; Editing by Keith Weir, Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta

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