Round Up - High Street: Debenhams, Mothercare, JD Sports

Department store Debenhams’ chief executive Michael Sharp submitted his resignation to the company’s board today. Confirming plans announced last October Sharp said it had been a “privilege” to lead the firm. Debenhams said Sharp will continue as boss until his successor is confirmed. It came as half-year profits climbed 5.5% to £93.8million.

Retailer Mothercare blamed plunging consumer confidence in the Middle East and China as it revealed that fourth quarter international sales dropped 9.7%. The figures overshadowed a stronger performance in the UK where UK like-for-like sales rose 2.1%. Online sales grew 5.6%. Fewer promotions also boosted margins.

JD Sports Fashion sprinted to a 57% growth in annual profits to £157.1million on sales 20% higher at £1.8billion. International expansion and demand from people wanting to wear sports clothes outside of gyms helped.