Sports Direct International (SDI), the big British retailer and wholesaler, continues to invest in U.K. general retail. The company has just announced its acquisition of an additional stake of 4.6 percent in Debenhams, which describes itself as one of the four top apparel retailers in the country. Through this move SDI increases its total stake in Debenhams to 11.22 percent. Last January, SDI bought 6.62 percent of Debenhams’ shares. The entire investment in the fashion chain is worth a maximum of £64 million (€81.7 million).
In the first half of 2014, Debenhams booked a gross transaction value 0f nearly £1.57 billion (€2.0 billion), up by 2.1 percent over the previous year’s period. Earnings before interests, taxes and write-offs decreased by 14.4 percent to £144.6 million (€184.5 million), while the operating profit fell by 22.9 percent to £93.4 million (€119.2 million).
SDI’s announcement to increase its commitment to Debenhams came shortly after the sports retailer’s decision to make a smaller investment in Tesco, the large British food and non-food chain.