House of Fraser has updated the market on the performance of its parent company, Highland Group Holdings, for the 53 weeks to 31st January 2015.

The retailer has announced record sales, up 5.8% on a like-for-like 52 week basis (excluding VAT), online sales (excluding VAT) increasing 32% in the period and representing 15.4% of
sales. A record gross profit of £460.2m was announced, up £29.6m.

Sales in bricks-and-mortar stores were up 2.2% on a like-for-like basis. The year saw the continued enhancement of store environments, including upgrades and improvements across the estate and a full refurbishment of the group’s store in Bath.

House of Fraser reports that the strong momentum seen during 2014 continues, with sales for the first 11 weeks to Saturday 18th April 2015 up 6.5%

Nigel Oddy, CEO of House of Fraser, says: “We are pleased to report another year of record sales and gross profit and a further improvement in the group’s earnings. The continued growth has been driven by successes in each of our key strategic pillars. Our online business has performed exceptionally strongly and has substantial future potential. The web store has been the largest single store in terms of sales for the last three years and, for the first time this year, it has become the most profitable store in the group.

"Our successful House Brand business was broadened by the introduction of new brands and extended into new locations, helping to drive sales growth of 10% in the year. We have strengthened our relationships with our brand partners and continued our collaborative approach to improving store environments which has helped us to deliver sales growth from our bricks-and-mortar stores. Overall, we have continued to enhance our premium department store positioning and this is reflected in our strong current trading.

“We are confident that the group's business model, with our premium brand positioning and strong multichannel operation will ensure that House of Fraser continues to grow and develop for the foreseeable future. We are very excited by the future as we embark on the next phase of growth both in the UK and internationally.”

The department store group operates from 59 locations across the UK and Ireland, plus two dot.com concept stores.

In the UK, the retailer says it plans to significantly increase the level of investment in its multichannel proposition and the refurbishment of our store portfolio, with six store upgrades planned in the coming year.