British retailer Debenhams warns on profit after disappointing trading

LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - British retailer Debenhams plc downgraded its profit forecast on Thursday after disappointing trading in the autumn and a poor start to its post-Christmas sale.

The company said its British like-for-like sales at constant currency fell 2.6 percent in the 17 weeks to 30 December, and it had to cut prices to deliver sales growth in the six weeks up to Christmas.

It said its profit before tax for the year was now likely to be in the range of 55 million to 65 million pounds ($88 million).

Debenhams reported underlying profit before tax of 95 million pounds last year and analysts had been expecting a figure of 83 million pounds in 2018, according to Reuters data.

($1 = 0.7399 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)