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Womenswear fuels sales growth at N Brown

Revenue at N Brown Group was up 5.6% year on year to £453.4m in the first half, thanks to a strong performance in across its womenswear offer.

Product revenue at the group, which owns JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, was up 7.5% to £323.5m for the 26 weeks to 2 September.

Financial services revenue edged up 1.1% for the six months while adjusted EBITDA slipped 0.2% to £49m.

Adjusted profit before tax was up 1.7% to £32.2m.

Product gross margin dropped 190 basis points to 54%, as expected, driven by currency headwinds.

Online sales were up 14% year on year and 76% of all traffic came from mobiles.

During the half womenswear was a strong performer, up 9.5% on 2016, and the group had a 90 basis point increase in market share in womenswear size 16+.

Sales at Simply Be were up 21% year on year, while JD Williams was up 12.1% and Jacamo was up 6.7%. Fifty Plus dropped 5.2%.

The group added new third party brands including Levi’s, Mango, Oasis, Tommy Hilfiger and Ugg during the half.

Going forward the group will be working with Amazon Fashion (Simply Be and Jacamo), Namshi (Simply Be) and Debenhams (Jacamo) to sell capsule collections online.

Angela Spindler, chief executive, said: “Our transformation into a flexible, online retailer continues to benefit all aspects of our business and we are today sharing our three growth levers going forwards. These are continuing to gain share in the UK, growing internationally and working in partnership with other companies to offer even more choice to our customers.

“At this early stage in the second half, current trading is on track with our plan and we are focused and well prepared for the peak trading period ahead. We are confident in our ability to deliver sustainable long-term growth and achieve our international ambitions.”

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