N Brown delivers 4.2% growth in half year revenue
The results were in line with expectations, said British multi-channel retailer N Brown as it announced that total group revenue grew 4.2% to £415.8 million in the six months to 29 August 2015. Product revenue was up 6.1%, thanks to further improvements to product quality, while revenue from financial services dropped 0.4%.
In the period, the Manchester-based company also saw its operating profit (excluding exceptionals) fall 14.2% to £38.3 million, and pre-tax underlying trading profit slip 15.9% to £35 million. This was attributed to exceptional costs relating to the closure of 18 clearance stores.
N Brown, which trades under several names, including JD Williams, Jacamo and Simply Be, said department store JD Williams continues its turnaround plan with a flat growth year-on-year.
Meanwhile the womenswear label Simply Be and the menswear brand Jacamo deliverd a strong performance, with product revenue for both up 21%.
The retailer is currently adjusting its business model from traditional mail order to digital-first. Whilst catalogues will continue to be a key channel for the company, its transformation strategy is set on prioritising its online channels. During the six-month period N Brown saw its online penetration grow by 63%.
Angela Spindler, Chief Executive, 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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