REPORT_ Releasing a trading update for the 13 weeks period to November 29, 2014, N Brown Group said that its interim results on October 9, 2014, stated adverse impact of unseasonably mild temperatures in September and early October have resulted in a weak start to the second half and a revision to its expectations for the year. However, now the company has indicated improvement in trading performance since September, with the group reporting revenue growth in both October and November.

While the impact of the mild weather in September resulted in a turnover decline of below 10.8 percent, company returned to growth in October with an increase of over 1.5 percent, which continued in November with growth of over 3 percent. Overall, turnover for the third quarter declined by below 2.3 percent with year to date down below 1.2 percent.

Commenting on the development, Angela Spindler, Chief Executive, said, “We are pleased with the strength in our customer activity levels and sales during November. We have seen an excellent response from both existing and new customers to planned higher profile brand activity on our JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo power brands. We are continuing with our strategic plan to simplify and modernise the business.”

Following the re-launch of the JD Williams brand, company has experienced a 30 percent increase in new customers in the quarter versus this period last year. It also continued to see growth in online business with online sales penetration now at 60 percent of total sales. Simply Be and Jacamo Oxford Street store was opened in September followed by further store openings in Merry Hill, Norwich and Edinburgh during October and November. During the quarter, Simply Be and Jacamo stores have posted overall sales growth of 78 percent.

N Brown has also reported steady growth in the USA with product demand up 10 percent for the quarter. Gross margin for the quarter is in line with company’s expectations.


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