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HONG KONG – The harsh trading difficulties facing UK retailer, House of Fraser, have been outlined by the company’s potential new owner, Chinese business C Banner. In a document submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange detailing its proposed takeover, C Banner said House of Fraser made a loss of just under £44m in 2017 amid falling sales and a hugely challenging retail landscape. Sales fell by 6.3 per cent to £787.8m.

C Banner has outlined plans to take a controlling 51 per cent stake in House of Fraser and will look to push through a robust turnaround plan.

In its document to the Stock Exchange, C Banner said: “The year 2017 was a challenging year for the business of the Target Group [House of Fraser]. The Brexit referendum and the UK’s resultant decision to leave the European Union and the terrorist attacks in London, combined with a rapidly evolving retail market, produced a period of uncertainty and volatility that resulted in a difficult trading environment for the whole retail industry in the UK.

“Nevertheless, the Directors believe that as a leading department store chain in UK, the Target Group will be able to take advantage of its well-known brand to capture growth potential. Also, upon completion of the Restructuring Plan, the business operation, profitability and cash flow of the Target Group will further be improved and therefore the business model of the Target Group is expected to become more stable.”

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