N Brown posts drop in half year sales and profit
N Brown, the owner of JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, has posted a drop in first half sales and profit after facing a “tough” retail market.
In the six months to 27 August, revenue fell by 4.6% to £331.5 million while statutory pre-tax profit declined by 74.6% to £7.2 million.
Steve Johnson, chief executive of N Brown, said: “In a difficult period of weakening consumer confidence, we’ve balanced our objectives between disciplined trading – with a focus on upholding margin – and delivering on our long-term strategy to transform the business.”
Following the end of the period, N Brown launched a new mobile-first website for Simply Be to improve the customer experience. It is also planning to introduce a new Jacamo site in the first half of 2023.
Giving an update on more recent trading, N Brown said its second quarter product revenue decline of 9.4% continued into last month. Based on the assumption that macroeconomic uncertainty and inflationary pressures continue through the second half of the year, it now anticipates that second half product revenue will decline at a similar rate.
Johnson added: “We anticipate continued softness in trading over the second half as macroeconomic pressures continue to weigh on consumers, despite government support. We will, therefore, maintain our focus on tightly managing both our costs and margins.
“At the same time, given our ongoing confidence in our strategy and the strength of our balance sheet, we will continue to invest in our digital transformation to deliver sustainable profitable growth.”
N Brown’s JD Williams brand currently has TV personalities Amanda Holden and Davina McCall acting as brand ambassadors.