Internet Sales jump by 21 per cent in 2009

ONLINE shops were the big winners last year, with UK internet retail sales up 21 per cent on 2008.
Retail Decisions, a card fraud prevention firm, have estimated that UK web sales hit £49.8 billion in 2009.

The data came as Shop Direct, the online and home shopping group which owns Woolworths.­co.­uk and Littlewoods, said it expects to grow underlying earnings this year. It yesterday posted a 6.3 per cent rise in Christmas sales.
The firm said it was helped by a better-than-expected performance from the Woolworths arm. Shop Direct launched the site in June after buying the brand in the wake of the collapse of the 100-year-old stores group.

Steve Makin, finance director of Shop Direct, said he expected to grow earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the year ending April 2010 from the £111 million achieved in the previous 12 months.

Makin said Shop Direct's focus in 2010 would be on developing its new brand. The fashion site achieved sales growth of 26 per cent over Christmas.

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