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N Brown PBT climbs 2.6%


Internet and catalogue home shopping retail business N Brown Group has today reported a pre-tax profit rise of 2.6 per cent to £96.4 million thanks to the rise of online sales and a strengthened customer base.

In the 52 weeks ended March 2nd 2013, operating profit climbed 3.1 per cent to £102.2 million while total group sales increased by six per cent to £784.7 million.

Sales from newly recruited customers jumped 24 per cent as the retailer’s investment in the area bore fruit while online sales continued to grow, up 15 per cent on the same period last year to £424 million with online sales now representing 55 per cent of home shopping revenue, the group noted.

Meanwhile, m-commerce now accounts for 23 per cent in value of sales transacted as investment in the digital space goes on.

Commenting on the positive results, N Brown Group Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “We have delivered a good set of results for the Group, and we have seen positive like-for-like growth in the period since year end.

“Sales online have reached 55 per cent, and with over a quarter of these now being transacted on a mobile device, we expect this trend to continue.

“With our strategy of on-going investment the business remains set to continue to grow in the future.”

Sales in the USA have fared well over the year, up 75 per cent to £8.4 million as the group introduced its popular Simply Be and Jacamo labels to the market through concept stores.

Looking ahead, the group noted that it has seen a solid start to the new financial year as LFL growth for the seven weeks to April 20th 2013 reached 6.1 per cent.

While N Brown Group is in a firm position despite tough market conditions, the retailer is set for a period of change as long-standing CEO Alan White prepares to leave the business after nearly 28 years.

White welcomed the full-year figures and thanked the team for their support, saying: “We are pleased to announce significant progress in the business.

“Online sales have maintained their strong upward momentum, our customer base has strengthened significantly and we have made good progress in the USA and with our Simply Be/Jacamo concept stores.

“We have delivered strong revenue and profit results whilst making investments in these initiatives.

“This is my last set of results as Chief Executive of N Brown. It is hard to believe that the business I joined in 1985 with sales of £42 million could have delivered these results today.

“I would like to personally thank everyone for their support, enthusiasm and dedication over the years and I offer Angela Spindler and Andrew Higginson my full support and best wishes to continue to realise the potential of the group.”

Published on Wednesday 24 April by Editorial Assistant

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