N Brown issues profit warning amid highly promotional market

N Brown Group Plc, for the 18 week period to January 4, 2020 reported digital revenue increase of 2.5 percent driven by strong growth at Simply Be & Ambrose Wilson. The company said in a statement that product revenue declined 4 percent as it continues the managed decline of legacy brands. The company’s 87 percent of product revenue is now digital, an increase of 5ppts. The company added that due to a lower than expected benefit from the IFRS9 non-cash provision estimate, combined with lower financial services revenue and a highly promotional market, it now expects FY20 adjusted profit before tax to be in the range of 70 million pounds to 72 million pounds.

Commenting on the trading performance, Steve Johnson, the company’s CEO, said: “This has been an encouraging period of peak trading for the business in a highly promotional market, as we delivered digital revenue growth across both womenswear and menswear with particularly strong digital growth from Simply Be and Ambrose Wilson as customers responded well to our ranges. We are making good progress with our ongoing strategic review and look forward to providing further details at our full year results in April. Our expectations remain that the retail market will continue to be challenging and promotional, but we are focused on our clear strategy of delivering profitable digital growth.”

N Brown reports positive digital sales across core labels

N Brown said, within womenswear, Simply Be delivered a strong performance with digital revenue growth of 13.1 percent driven by increased sales of ‘party tops’ and athleisure range which benefitted from closer to home, more reactive sourcing with lead times reduced by four weeks. This was complemented by the Simply Be App with demand penetration increasing by 76 percent year-on-year. The company further said that New Icons campaign, higher sales through partnership channels and more digital traffic being driven by social media also contributed to Simply Be’s strong performance.

JD Williams digital revenue increased by 0.4 percent and 82 percent of its revenue is now digital. Ambrose Wilson delivered strong digital revenue growth of 7.9 percent in the period and 63 percent of its revenue is now digital, an increase of 10ppts year-on-year, driven by ‘Cruise’ and occasionwear ranges performing especially well combined with focused digital campaigns and targeted reduction of paper marketing.

Menswear digital revenue, through the Jacamo brand, increased 3.2 percent in the quarter, against a strong performance in the comparative period of 6.8 percent when sales were boosted by the clearance of stock from store closures.

Picture:Facebook/Simply Be


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