Internet and catalogue home shopping retail business N Brown Group has seen online sales boost growth in its first half though pre-tax profit dropped 4.5 per cent to £42 million, it has been announced today.
Reporting an e-commerce sales rise of 12 per cent to £196 million for the 26 weeks ended September 1st 2012, the group noted that younger brands and its internet channel are driving results while sales from newly recruited customers soared 20 per cent.
Online trading now accounts for 53 per cent of home shopping revenue, up five per cent on 2011, thanks to heavy investment in online systems.
Like-for-like (LFL) sales lifted 3.7 per cent over the period and total sales grew 4.3 per cent to £379.3 million while sales for the six weeks to October 13th 2012 shot up 10.1 per cent.
Alan White, CEO of N Brown Group, commented: “I am delighted that the revenue and gross margin trends have been on an upward trajectory throughout 2012.
“We have seen double digit growth in the revenue from our younger brands, such as Jacamo and Simply Be, and in our menswear and home and leisure product ranges.
“The 10.1 per cent increase in sales at the start of the second half is also very encouraging and all our major brands and product areas have contributed to this growth.
“This gives us some optimism in the outlook for our second half performance.”
Youth brand trading, aimed at the under-50’s market, grew 12 per cent overall to £143 million, with its Jacamo brand seeing sales rise 40 per cent as its menswear range, including products by sportsman Freddie Flintoff, has proven increasingly popular.
Meanwhile, its Figleaves and Simply Be brands have led international and multichannel developments and are performing strongly.
Earlier this year, the group announced the departure of Lord Alliance of Manchester, who had operated as Chairman for 40 years and the role has since been taken over by Andrew Higginson.
Commenting on the latest results, Higginson said: “In my first report since taking over as Chairman I am pleased to be reporting like for like sales growth of 3.7 per cent and an improving sales trend within the business.
“The strategy to focus on the development of our core brands and our online trading capability is delivering positive results, as evidenced by our strong start to the second half.”