Struggling department store chain Debenhams has issued another profit warning as its sales continue to fall.
In a trading update, the firm said the forecast it made on January 10, when it said full-year profits were set to hit analysts’ expectations of about £8.2 million, was “no longer valid”.
Like-for-like sales at the firm for the 26 weeks to March 2 were down 5.3%.
Debenhams said talks with stakeholders to put it on a firmer footing were “continuing constructively”.
The retailer said it would provide a further update with its interim results statement.
The unscheduled update warned that trading headwinds, efforts to put the group on a secure financial footing and macroeconomic uncertainties were hitting the company hard.
The profit alert is the fourth in just over a year and sent shares down 12% to 2.8p in morning trade.
In February, Debenhams secured a £40m lifeline from its lenders to act as a bridge while the company continues talks for a longer-term refinancing.
The firm said: “Discussions with stakeholders have now progressed to include options to restructure our balance sheet in order to address our future funding requirements, and are continuing constructively.”
Debenhams, which has shops in Aberdeen and Inverness, also plans to shut 50 stores amid long-term pressures on the high street, putting 4,000 jobs at risk.
Boss Sergio Bucher 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.
“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.”
Debenhams also said that, in the eight weeks since January 10, sales have improved somewhat, but are still in decline.
Gross transaction value fell 5% in the period, with like-for-like sales down 4.6%.
Overall, for the 26 weeks to March 2, comparable sales are down 5.3%. The UK fell 6% with international slipping 2.3%.
Debenhams said an £80m cost-saving programme is on track.