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House Of Fraser PLC (HOF)

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Thursday 18 September, 2003

House Of Fraser PLC

Interim Results - Highlights

House Of Fraser PLC
18 September 2003



                    HOUSE OF FRASER PLC ("House of Fraser")



                         HIGHLIGHTS OF INTERIM RESULTS

                      FOR THE 26 WEEKS ENDED 26 JULY 2003







House of Fraser PLC ("the Company") notes this afternoon's press comment
concerning speculation on the Company's results for the 26 weeks ended 26 July
2003.  The original announcement date was 24 September 2003 but the Board now
intends to release the full announcement at 7.00am tomorrow morning.  Highlights
include:



  • Losses before tax and exceptional items improved to £3.9 million (2002:
    £5.0 million)*.



  • Losses before tax of £7.7 million, (2002: £11.7 million)*, after charging
    an exceptional item of £3.8 million (2002: £6.7 million).



  • Like for like sales in the first half were level on last year. Gross
    profit margin increased by over 20 basis points, the seventh consecutive
    year of first half growth.



  • Costs down 4.5% on the year, including achieved savings of £7.9 million.



  • Loss before tax and exceptional items 1.1 per share, an improvement of
    0.3p.



  • Average debt 11% below last year



  • Interim dividend maintained at 1.7p per share.



  • Like for like sales for the first seven weeks of the second half were 5.4%
    up on the previous year.



  • New store in the City of London opened and Birmingham store refurbishment
    completed, both in September 2003. Initial trading has been encouraging.





The Chief Executive of House of Fraser, John Coleman, said today: "These very
encouraging results show the resilience of our position as Britain's leading
retailer of Designer Brands.  We further improved our range of brands and
launched two exciting store developments - the opening of our new store in the
City of London and the refurbishment of Birmingham, our largest store.



"We drove further growth in our gross margin rates and achieved significant cost
savings. The results for this interim period, together with the returns from our
new and refurbished stores, reinforce our optimism about the Group's prospects
for the year."





*  Note: Restated for FRS 17 (Retirement Benefits).



An analyst meeting will be held at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein offices (20
Fenchurch Street) 9.00am tomorrow.





Enquiries:



House of Fraser, Tel:  020 7963 2427

David Adams



Brunswick, Tel: 020 7404 5959

Jonathan Glass

Tim Grey









End


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