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N Brown suffers 'disappointing' product performance

Group revenue at N Brown Group edged up by 1% to £457.8m in the 26 weeks to 1 September 2018.

Financial services revenue at the retailer was up by 12.7% to £146.4m but product revenue slipped by 3.1% to £304.5m.

Adjusted EBITDA for the half-year increased by 6.1% to £52m.

Revenue at Simply Be was up by 8%, menswear brand Jacamo was up 2.7% and revenue at JD Williams slipped by 3.1%.

N Brown Group reported a significant decline in offline sales as it focuses on growing the online performance of its brands and said it had “taken measures” to address a poor international sales performance.

The interim dividend has been reduced by 50% to 2.83p.

Chairman Matt Davies said: “Whereas much progress has been made transforming the business into an online retailer, we have not achieved the growth in product or international that we would have hoped for, and have decided to rebase the dividend to a more sustainable level from which we seek to grow.”

Steve Johnson, chief executive, said: “We were disappointed with our wider product performance which was impacted by the ongoing decline of our legacy offline business and challenging market conditions.

 “Going forward we expect offline sales to continue to fall as we focus on online Power Brand growth. While this will hold back revenue in the short term, there are opportunities to drive profit particularly through improved efficiency, as the business further shifts online, and we accelerate the use of analytics to increase returns on our promotional spend.”

Angela Spindler stepped down as N Brown Group chief executive at the end of last month. 

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