By Marcus Leach

Debenhams announced that it has bucked the downward trend seen by other high street retailers by boosting half year interim profits by 4.5 per cent to £129.2 million.

The increase in profits means that the retailer has produced six consecutive halves of pre-tax profit growth.

Debenhams will also be reintroducing a dividend for shareholders and has reduced its debt by £165.2 million.

One of the biggest sellers was cosmetics and perfumes, with an increase in market share from 26.8 to 28.1 per cent contributing to the sweet smell of success.

Online sales have jumped by 82.4 per cent, boosted by a new mobile iPhone app which lets customers buy Debenhams products from where ever they are.

Its brand advertising campaign, featuring well known designers including Jasper Conran, Aliza Reger, Ben de Lisi and Julien Macdonald, is also paying off with sales of products featured soaring. In some cases lines were up 300%.

The retailer also saw market gains in women’s casualwear and childrenswear.