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N Brown grows in first year under Spindler

Value fashion group N Brown grew sales in its first year under new chief executive Angela Spindler, with Simply Be and Jacamo highlighted as key growth drivers.

Total sales were up 6.4% to £834.9m for the year to March 1, while like-for-likes grew 35%. Operating profit also rose 4.7% to £107m while pre-tax profit climbed 5.3%, taking it just over £100m.

Sales in the US, where it has been focusing much of its attention in the last few months, rose 21% to £10m while ecommerce revenues grew 9.1% to £463m. The business now has seven million active customers.

On the back of these results the company has confirmed it plans to open a Simply Be/Jacamo flagship on Oxford Street in September.

Current trading is also strong, N Brown said, with a statement noting it was “confident” in delivering the strategy for the current financial year, with Spindler - who joined in July last year - forecasting double-digit growth in the following financial year, ending February 2016 as “our plan gathers momentum”.

She said: “I am encouraged by the results of the early changes we’ve made to the business and I am delighted that the team has continued to deliver solid growth, whilst preparing for a more ambitious future. “

N Brown chairman Andrew Higginson added: “We have achieved a lot in the year, whilst at the same time we have entered a period of transition for the business.

“We are investing in the further development of our multi-channel offer, increasing customer recruitment, revitalising our major brands and driving international expansion for future growth. We are encouraged by the positive signs from these strategic initiatives and we are confident these trends will continue.”

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