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N Brown first half revenues increase 5.6 percent

N Brown Group revenues for the first of this fiscal year were up 5.6 percent to 453.4 million pounds (600 million dollars), with product revenue up 7.5 percent and financial services revenue up 1.1 percent. The company’s three power brands delivered a good performance, with Simply Be posting revenue growth of 21 percent. EPS from continuing operations was a loss of 7.50p against 5.98p last year, while adjusted EPS from continuing operations were 8.77p against 8.95p last year.

Commenting on the company’s first half performance, Angela Spindler, N Brown’s Chief Executive, said in a press release: "I am very pleased to report continued good trading in the half. These are continuing to gain share in the UK, growing internationally and working in partnership with other companies to offer even more choice to our customers. At this early stage in the second half, current trading is on track with our plan."

Adjusted H1 trading profit increases 1.8 percent

Adjusted trading profit before tax was 32.2 million pounds (42 million dollars), up 1.8 percent year on year. The statutory loss for the half year of 27.6 million pounds (36 million dollars), the company said, relates to previously announced exceptional costs of 54.9 million pounds (72 million dollars) and relate to legacy issues. EBITDA declined to 49 million pounds (64 million dollars). Operating profit before exceptional items was 36.1 million pounds (47 million dollars), up 1.6 percent year on year.

The company added that the board is proposing to hold the interim dividend consistent with last year, at 5.67p, as it continues to invest in the business to drive growth.

N Brown said, active customer file during the period increased by 5.2 percent to 4.42million driven by recruitment campaigns during the season.

N Brown’s three core brands perform positively

JD Williams' product revenue was 81.1 million pounds (107 million dollars), up 6.9 percent. Within this, the JD Williams brand was up 12.1 percent and Fifty Plus was down 5.2 percent with the migration of Fifty Plus now complete.

Simply Be product revenue rose 21 percent with the company’s #WeAreCurves campaign resonating strongly with customers. Jacamo product revenue was up 6.7 percent, while secondary brands revenue increased by 1.4 percent. Within this, Fashion World and Marisota both achieved good performances. Figleaves saw a revenue decline, as the company said, new management team restructured the business and optimised our marketing approach. High & Mighty revenue declined year on year. The traditional segment recorded revenue growth of 4.4 percent.

USA revenue was 8.1 million pounds (10.7 million pounds), up 6.1 percent year on year but down 4.4 percent in constant currency terms. Ireland delivered revenues of 8.5 million pounds (11 million dollars), up 17.3 percent or 7.4 percent in constant currency terms.

Market share in Ladieswear was up 90bps at 5.7 percent, with significant gains across all age ranges, while menswear market share was flat at 1.2 percent, with gains in the younger age groups. Online revenue was up 14 percent and up 21 percent in our power brands.

In the first quarter the company announced the closure of five dual fascia Simply Be and Jacamo stores as a result of weak high-street footfall, both current and predicted, together with significant future business rate increases for some stores. The company said, store closures have now been completed, effective end of August. Overall, revenue from the store estate was 10.6 million pounds (14 million dollars). At the end of the first half, N Brown had 18 stores open, split 10 dual Simply Be and Jacamo stores, and eight High & Mighty stores.

Picture credit:Simply Be blog