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N Brown confident of full year outlook as revenue rises by 4.2%

N Brown, the online, catalogue and stores retailer, has reported that group revenue rose by 4.2% to £415.8 million in the first half of its financial year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

N Brown confident of full year outlook as revenue rises by 4.2%

N Brown, the online, catalogue and stores retailer, has reported that group revenue rose by 4.2% to £415.8 million in the first half of its financial year.

The company said the increase was driven by a combination of an improved performance from its Simply Be, Jacamo, and JD Williams brands, new customer growth, a step change in online penetration, and market share gains.

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said: “We are pleased with the performance of our Power Brands. JD Williams delivered an encouraging performance, as the improvements we are making begin to take effect. For example, new customer online penetration increased by 21 percentage points to 74%. Simply Be and Jacamo, performed very strongly with revenue up over 20% year-on-year. Our financial services business is in good shape with performance in line with expectations as the quality of our credit book continues to improve.”

However, statutory profit before tax fell by 54.6% to £19.4 million following exceptional costs accrued over the half year which mainly related to clearance store closures. Underlying trading profit before tax dropped by 15.9% year-on-year to £35 million which was in line with expectations.

During the period, N Brown completed a review of its store portfolio with operational improvements made to Simply Be and Jacamo estate and 18 clearance stores closed.

Spindler said: "Our transformation into a truly digital first, specialist-fit, fashion retailer is on track and is delivering tangible results, including good trading momentum online. We have previously communicated that this year will be significantly H2 weighted, and that remains the case. H2 has started well, with a pleasing performance in September, in line with our expectations and underpinning our confidence in the full year outturn."

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