January 5, 2018 / 12:06 PM / 16 days ago

How Britain's retailers fared over Christmas

(Adds Crawshaw)

Jan 5 (Reuters) - British retailers are giving updates on the key Christmas trading period stretching from “Black Friday” on Nov. 24 to clearance sales in early January.

Following are highlights:

Reported on Jan.5:

Crawshaw

British meat retailer Crawshaw Group said it saw strong core festive trade, with sales in the week leading up to Christmas crossing 1.8 million pounds ($2.4 million). However, the company warned a softer consumer environment and cost inflation would drag on profitibility at its high-street outlets.

Reported on Jan.4:

Aldi UK

Aldi UK, the British arm of the German discount supermarket chain, said its sales rose over 15 percent in December year-on-year, a record Christmas performance that was driven by strong demand for its premium ranges.

Debenhams Plc

Retailer Debenhams said its British like-for-like sales at constant currency fell 2.6 percent in the 17 weeks to Dec. 30, reflecting a volatile and competitive market in the autumn and a disappointing first week of its post-Christmas sale. It also downgraded its profit forecast after it slashed prices to drive sales in the run-up to Christmas and cut them again after shoppers failed to turn out for its clearance sale.

Reported on Jan.3:

Poundland

Poundland, which is owned by troubled South African group Steinhoff, said it enjoyed a record Christmas, with sales up 5.6 percent in the 12 weeks to Dec. 24.

Next Plc

British clothing retailer Next raised its full-year profit forecast after beating guidance for sales in the run-up to Christmas, as colder weather helped sales of winter clothes. Its shares surged as much as 10 percent.

John Lewis

Department store chain John Lewis reported an 8.9 percent jump in total sales in Christmas week with big increases from fashion, homeware and home technology categories.

$1 = 0.7384 pounds Compiled by Rahul B and Radhika Rukmangadhan; Editing by Susan Fenton and Mark Potter

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