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N Brown posts stellar first half performance

Sales at mail order company N Brown shot up 13.6% to £290.6 million for the six months to August 25 helped by a strong performance in womenswear.

The mail order firm saw like-for-like sales rocket 10.6% over the period and internet sales grew 40.4% to £73m in the six months. Group pre-tax profit was up 17.5% to £34.3 m.

The best performance came from womenswear where sales grew by 19% to £167m. N Brown's womenswear brand's scored a strong performance on casualwear as well as recording good growth on tailored and on-trend outfits.

Group sales have continued to be strong since the period with autumn merchandise contributing to an 11.1% like-for-like rise for the six weeks ended October 6.

Chief executive Alan White said: "Most of our brands and product ranges have performed strongly and we have had good growth on the internet as well but womenswear really led the way. Womenswear sales were slightly flattered by the growth at Gray and Osbourne, which we acquired last year, but stripping that out womenswear sales still came in at 13% ahead."

N Brown owns the Simply Be, JD Williams, Fashion World, Fifty Plus, Oxendales in Ireland, Premier Man, Jacamo, Shoe Tailor, Marisota and Naturally Close catalogues. Its core customer group is the over fifties.

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