Catalogue home shopping business N Brown Group has today reported an annual profit before tax increase of 5.5 per cent to £98.2 million for the year ending February 26th.
In a full-year results statement the company said that revenues grew 4.2 per cent compared to 2009/10 to reach £718.8 million, making it a record-breaking 12 months for the retailer.
Like-for-like (LFL) trading edged up just 1.3 per cent but this did not include figures from N Brown’s recent acquisitions, High & Mighty and Figleaves. Encouragingly, there has been a positive start to the new financial year, with LFL sales up 1.5 per cent in the ten weeks to May 7th despite the tough trading environment in the UK.
Lord Alliance of Manchester, Chairman of the group, said: “We are pleased to announce another robust group performance in what can only be described as difficult trading conditions, and we are also encouraged by the good start to the new financial year.
“There is no doubt the UK consumer will be facing a tough time, with rising costs and falling income, but we are confident our strategy to focus on our core business, whilst investing in new brands and pushing forward internationally, will continue to deliver in 2011.”
Last year saw N Brown Group launch its Simply Be brand in the US, but the focus for 2011 will be on expanding its home shopping business, both in the UK and internationally.
Much of this growth will be achieved through the development of online activities following on from the £10 million investment made in online systems during the last financial year, which ended with web sales hitting £324 million that accounted for 45 per cent of total revenues.
CEO Alan White remarked: “While the current year will be challenging, I am confident this strategy will deliver another good result this year.”
Adjusted earnings per share were up 9.1 per cent year-on-year to 27.02p, while the group’s full-year dividend rose 15 per cent to 12.41p.