Annual Report


* pre exceptional items
Financial Highlights
Gross transaction value £3.0bn
Profit before tax * £95.2m
Net debt £275.9m
Strategic Highlights
Full price sell-through +1.7%
Digital sales growth (52 weeks) 12.7%
Mobile mix of digital orders 55%
Shareholder Returns
Underlying eps * 6.4p
Dividend per share 3.425p
Roce (lease adjusted) 11.1%

At a glance

Debenhams redesigned
Sergio Bucher, CEO
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Strategy in Action
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Results underpinned by tight cost management
Financial review
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An integrated process
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Protecting sustainable value creation
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Our remuneration policy supports our long-term approach
Remuneration report
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Business model

What we do

We aim to make shopping confidence-boosting, sociable and fun for our customers, through our 246 department store destinations and online in more than 60 countries. We give our customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

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  • Our resources & relationships

    We employ around 27,000 colleagues in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and in our sourcing offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They support our own-operated stores in the UK and Europe and our digital operations, and serve 19 million customers

    Expertise and Insight

    We recruit and train experts in design, buying and merchandising, supported by excellent creative, marketing, logistics, financial and administrative functions. Our customer insight unit provides us with valuable feedback on our customers’ spending habits and their view of our offer


    We have 183 stores across major retail locations in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark. We have a flagship digital store in the UK and a localised online service in a number of overseas markets. With over 280 million online visits each year to our UK website, it is one of the top online UK retail destinations

    Suppliers and Partners

    We have a well-established network of more than 1,000 suppliers, as well as concession, logistics and franchise partners, who provide us with high quality product, logistical support and local market expertise. in locations where we trade with a partner


    We have a strong balance sheet, with flexible financing provision through a £320 million financing facility and a £200million bond, both of which are available until 2021. These resources are more than adequate to provide working capital, support our capital spending programme and pay a dividend to shareholders

  • How we create value today
    Innovation and Culture

    We are developing a culture that puts our customers first, enabling product creation and development in an inspiring environment, supported by data-informed decision-making

    Developing and managing brands

    Approximately half our sales come from our own or exclusive brands. We use the insight from 19 million customers to inform brand development, and to edit and curate the choice of products and brands we sell

    Serving our customers

    We have worked hard to make shopping easier and more fun for our customers: reducing colleague tasks; equipping them with technology and data; and giving them more time in front of customers

    Creating inspiring places to shop

    We are reducing clutter in our stores, reducing stock options and improving visual merchandising. We have continued to upgrade our digital presentation for mobile display, to improve conversion

    Leveraging partnerships

    We continue to strengthen our relationships with third parties to broaden our reach. This includes accessing new customers both in the UK and overseas through partners for our own brands, and working with service providers to exploit growth categories such as food and beauty services in our stores

    We create value for our stakeholders and our business by carefully managing the use of, and the return on, our resources and relationships

    Gross transaction value£3.0bn
    Underlying EPS*6.4p
    Return on capital**11.1%
    Digital sale growth (52 weeks)12.70%
    Direct employmentc27,000
    Before exceptional charges.Lease-adjusted.
  • The value we share

    By running a profitable, sustainable, responsible business, we create value which is used to strengthen our financial position, invested to enable growth, and shared with all of our stakeholders


    We pay a dividend (2017: £42.0 million) which is approximately twice covered by earnings per share


    We source globally from more than 1,000 suppliers adopting ethical trading principles. We have increased our business through direct sourcing operations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka


    We invest in training and support for our colleagues in order to enable them to create and manage brands and to serve our customers well


    We invest in our stores and integrated digital offer (2017 capex of £125 million) in order to provide our customers with an inspiring environment and a convenient customer journey


    We raised over £1.7 million through the Debenhams Foundation in 2017 to support charitable giving and community involvement


    We seek to operate our stores, logistics and sourcing operations in a way that minimises the use of energy and resources

  • How we maximise value
    through our new strategy

    By making Debenhams more of a Destination, especially for Beauty and beauty services; Fashion and accessories; and Food and events, we will grow “Social Shopping” and increase frequency of visits


    By using mobile to integrate our channels and become the primary means of interacting with our customers, we will increase loyalty and personalisation and broaden our reach


    By being different in how we create and manage our brands and product, we will increase innovation and differentiation, building the desirability and value of our brands

    Underpinned by Simplify & Focus

    By simplifying our operations and processes and focusing on doing fewer things better, we will increase the efficiency of our business

  • Our value creation
    is underpinned by
    Risk management

    A systematic approach to managing
    risk to ensure strategic goals are met


    Governance framework designed to
    safeguard long-term shareholder value


    Respecting human rights is fundamental
    to our company ethics and integrity


    Taking a customer first approach, fostering
    innovative thinking underpinned by data

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