N Brown Group, the home shopping retailer that owns online lingerie specialist Figleaves.com, has seen like-for-like revenues increase 1.6 per cent year-on-year in the opening 18 weeks of its financial year.
A statement released today by the company’s Chairman, Lord Alliance of Manchester, reveals that high levels of promotional activity during the period to July 2nd 2011 have bolstered sales but contributed to a 0.2 per cent decline in the rate of gross margin.
Total group revenue grew by 5.1 per cent compared to the same four months in 2010, with its menswear and footwear categories growing strongly but ladieswear slightly down.
Lord Alliance indicated that high-end ladies fashion items have performed well, but price pressures have subdued demand for core ranges.
Meanwhile, online sales now account for 47 per cent of total group revenues, up from 41 per cent at the same point last year.
Figleaves was acquired by N Brown in June 2010 and it was recently announced that after a successful transitional period the boss of the online lingerie firm, Julia Reynolds, will leave to take on the CEO role at outdoor goods specialist Blacks Leisure.
Commenting on the first year of Figleaves ownership and other new brands, Lord Alliance said: “Progress is going well on all of our development projects - Figleaves and High & Mighty are both delivering improved financial results.
“International sales for Simply Be in Germany and the US are rising in line with expectations and we have secured two retail sites in north-west England to trial the multichannel home shopping retail concept, utilising the latest technology, which we expect to open by early October 2011.”
Lord Alliance will address shareholders at N Brown’s AGM later today.