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House of Fraser Says Christmas Sales up 7.3%

British upmarket department store chain House of Fraser said on Thursday like-for-like sales rose 7.3% in the four weeks to Dec. 30, boosted by record trading in the week before Christmas. "The company is also pleased to report a strong operating performance through the period, with margins being in line with expectations," House of Fraser, which was acquired by Icelandic investor Baugur last year, said in a statement.

"These strong figures show that House of Fraser remains the customer's number one choice for designer brands," it said.

House of Fraser's good Christmas trading mirrored that at the John Lewis Partnership, which also caters to middle-class tastes and has also reported record sales.

House of Fraser, one of Britain's most recognised retail brands and which operates 61 stores in Britain and Ireland, was bought for 351 million pounds by Baugur.

The deal was one of the largest yet for the Icelandic group, which already owned many of Britain's best-known high street retailers including Iceland supermarkets, jeweller Mappin & Webb and toy store Hamleys.