N Brown confident on outlook as profits rise
Online and catalogue retailer N Brown grew its revenue by 4.8% to £753.2 million in the year ending 3 March while pre-tax profit rose 2.5% to £96.9 million.
The Manchester based company saw its like-for-like sales rise by 0.6% in the 8 weeks to 28 April 2012 with online sales increasing 16% to £377 million.
The group said in a statement: "Consumer confidence remains fragile but we believe the situation will improve in the second half of the year as inflation and income growth become more balanced and our own comparatives become softer."
N Brown, which owns the Simply Be, Jacamo, Figleaves, High & Mighty and Marisota brands, said it would focus on international expansion in 2012 with the appointment of local digital marketing agencies in the US to grow Simply Be’s online recruitment and social media activities. It will also trial Marisota and Jacamo, initially on the Simply Be website, and look to boost Figleaves' international sales.
The group said it was pleased to see the turnaround plans for the Figleaves and High & Mighty businesses delivering results. Figleaves made its first ever profit in 13 years of trading during the year and High & Mighty opened three new stores while reducing its losses from £0.8 million to £0.2 million.
Chairman Lord Alliance of Manchester said: "We have continued to focus on our multi-channel strategy, investing in our online trading platform, whilst also expanding our international activities."
"Although we do not expect the market to materially improve, we believe consumer confidence will begin to pick up later this year and we are confident that our strategy will continue to deliver in 2012," he added.
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