October 24, 2018 / 5:46 PM / 19 days ago

UK's Debenhams to report almost 500 mln stg loss: Sky News, citing sources

FILE PHOTO: A new Debenhams department store is seen in a shopping centre in Watford, Britain, September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British department store Debenhams (DEB.L) will report an annual loss of almost 500 million pounds ($644 million) on Thursday, the biggest loss in its history, Sky News reported, citing sources.

The 240-year-old company will also confirm plans to close around 50 stores over the next five years, a move that will affect roughly 5,000 jobs, Sky News said.

Debenhams declined to comment on the report.

Speculation about Debenhams’ future has increased since rival House of Fraser collapsed into administration in August and was snapped up by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct (SPD.L).

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Stephen Addison

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