- Beleaguered retailer Debenhams warned on profits blaming economic uncertainties and increased financing costs.

The company said that while trading headwinds had moderated in recent weeks, plans to raise an additional £40m to shore up its balance sheet and macroeconomic uncertainties would hurt performance.

The statement made on 10 January that it was 'on track to deliver current year profits in line with market expectations,' was no longer valid, the retailer said.

For the 26 weeks to 2 March 2019, gross transaction value declined by 5.4%, with life-for-life down 5.3%. The UK fell 6% with International down 2.3% and digital sales grew by 2.0% across the period.

The annualised £80m cost saving programme was on track, and 'we expect the first ranges resulting from our sourcing partnership with Li & Fung will be in stores in the current season,' the company said.

'We are making good progress with our stakeholder discussions to put the business on a firm footing for the future. We still expect that this process will lead to around 50 stores closing in the medium term,' said Sergio Bucher, Chief Executive of Debenhams.

'Our priority is to secure the best outcome for the business and all our stakeholders, whilst minimising the number of store closures and job losses. To do this, as we have said before, we will need the support of both landlords and local authorities to address our rents, rates and lease commitments.'

At 8:17am: [LON:DEB] Debenhams PLC share price was -0.17p at 3.02p

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