June 27, 2017 / 6:18 AM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-Debenhams cautions UK trading more volatile as sales slide

(Corrects headline and paragraph 2 to show like-for-like sales fell, not rose)

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - Debenhams, Britain’s second-biggest department store operator, said on Tuesday it was making progress in implementing its new strategy, though it cautioned that the UK trading environment had become more volatile.

The firm said group like-for-like sales fell 0.9 percent in the 15 weeks to June 17, its fiscal third quarter.

It currently anticipates that 2017 profit before tax will be within the range of market expectations. However, it said that should current market volatility continue, the outcome could be towards the lower end of the current range.

The update was the first since April, when new Chief Executive Sergio Bucher detailed the outcome of his strategic review. He plans to return the group to profit growth by closing some stores, revamping the rest and improving its online service. He also plans to seek efficiencies by simplifying the business. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton)

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