N Brown ladieswear sales hit by wet weather
N Brown’s total group revenue increased by 2.5% in the 17 weeks to 30 June while like-for-like revenue growth was 1.9%.
The group said that sales of ladieswear had been less than anticipated due to the ongoing unsettled weather depressing sales of summer clothing. However, sales of menswear, footwear, lingerie and home and leisure products all showed growth although shoppers had focused on buying value lines or those which had promotional discounts.
N Brown said the mix of sales had resulted in a 1% lower rate of gross margin than the group had anticipated for the period. However it expects gross margin to improve as the year progresses as planned lower stock levels result in reduced volumes of discounted sales of excess stocks.
Chairman Lord Alliance of Manchester CBE will tell the group’s AGM today: "Neither the prevailing economic backdrop nor the weather conditions are helpful to our business. However our flexible business model allows us to target the marketing investment and manage our cost base in order to deliver the best result in any given circumstances.
"This flexibility, combined with the focus on our key initiatives and the continuing strong financial position of the group, underpins and maintains the board's confidence in the future."
The group said the financial performance of its most recent acquisitions, High & Mighty and Figleaves, was going "according to plan".
Meanwhile, Lord Alliance of Manchester announced that he is to stand down as chairman after more than 40 years in the role, while chief executive Alan White will retire in the second half of 2013.
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