N Brown unveils Tesco partnership as profits fall

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The parent company of fashion retailers JD Williams and Jacamo has announced a new partnership with Tesco as it reveals a fall in annual profits.

The adjusted profit before tax for N Brown Group – which also owns Simply Be – dropped by 8.7 per cent to £80.6 million in the year to March 4.

It was also slapped with exceptional costs of £25.2 million, thanks to its miscalculation of compensation owed to customers following complaints about its financial services earlier this year.

In addition, because its store estate recorded an operating loss of £2 million, N Brown said there were no plans to open any new stores in the future.

Despite this, N Brown’s overall revenue went up 2.5 per cent to £887.7 million, with product revenue up 3.4 per cent and financial services revenue edging up by 0.4 per cent.


READ MORE: N Brown CEO warns Brexit may affect gender diversity in retail boardrooms


Meanwhile, online revenue increased 10 per cent year-on-year, with 71 per cent of traffic coming from mobile devices.

N Brown’s results also reflect different reporting periods – in its most recent fiscal year N Brown had 53 weeks, while in its 2016 financial year it had 52.

The company’s results also revealed a new partnership with Tesco, where N Brown will sell a capsule collection of Simply Be and Jacamo lines on Tesco Direct and in some stores in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

”Tesco Direct is one of the UK’s largest ecommerce sites, and this partnership will be an excellent way of further increasing awareness of our unique offer in an under-served market,” N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said.

She added she was “pleased” with the full-year results of her company.


READ MORE: Jacamo partners with Asos


“Our improved trading agility is evident in the figures we are announcing today,” Spindler said.

“Our performance accelerated in the second half as we demonstrated our enhanced ability to flex our product offering in season.

“The macro-economic backdrop remains challenging for retail. Against this backdrop we remain vigilant over our core costs and efficiencies. We are also continuing to invest in improving our capabilities and customer experience to enable future profitable growth.

“The past few years have seen a huge amount of change in the business. We remain on track to complete the final stages of our systems programme by summer 2018. We are focused on driving the business forward, both in the UK and internationally, and I am very confident in our prospects. Although it is early in our new financial year, performance so far has been encouraging and in line with our expectations.”

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