Department store group Debenhams posted slower sales growth for its latest trading period as unhelpful weather and a weak consumer environment took their toll.

The 200-year-old firm, did, however, say that it was comfortable with the market's current expectations for pretax profit in 2013-14 reflecting a strong focus on stocks, margins and costs.

Debenhams said sales at stores open over a year were flat in the 16 weeks to June 22 - a period which includes its fiscal third quarter.

That outcome compares to a first half like-for-like sales rise of 3.1% and was below analyst forecasts of growth of about 2%.

In line with previous guidance, the firm said gross margin was expected to be flat for the full 2013-14 year.