Debenhams, the leading multi-channel retailer, has reported an increase of 1.4% in its H1 gross transactions, mainly driven by the successful winter sale as well as an encouraging start to the new season. A strong finish to the first half resulted in an increase in like-for-like sales by 2.4% (including and excluding Vat) for the eight weeks to 3rd March 2012.

The company says customers continue to appreciate the style, quality and value of its offer, particularly its own core brands. The spring marketing campaign in mid-February also received a good response from customers.

While commenting on the trading, CEO Michael Sharp said: "I am pleased with our performance in the first half which resulted in like-for-like sales growth despite challenging conditions across the retail sector. Our priority in the second half is to continue executing our strategy, centred on the four pillars of focusing on UK retail, delivering a compelling customer proposition, increasing availability and choice through multi-channel and expanding the brand internationally."

Debenhams remains cautious about the uncertainty of economic environment and its impact on consumer spending in the short term. The group is fairly confident over medium term that its strategy will bring benefits to the group; overall it remains optimistic on the outlook for the full year.