N Brown has confirmed plans to enter the US later this year as total sales at the home shopping group grew 4.2% to £690m in the year to February 27.
Adjusted pre-tax profits were up 12.6% to £93.1m during the year with strong growth continuing online, with online sales ahead 21%. Full-year like-for-likes rose 3.3%, excluding the international business.
Current trading has continued to be strong with like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to April 24 up 3.1%.
After the successful launch of its Simply Be range in Germany, N Brown will take the brand to the US this summer to try and take a slice of the estimated $35bn (£22.7bn) plus size market there.
N Brown chairman Lord Alliance of Manchester said: “This is another robust performance from the N Brown Group, despite a challenging economic background. Our strategy to expand our product ranges, enhance our websites and introduce new brands, has helped us achieve growth across all customer groups providing a strong platform for the future. We are particularly encouraged by the 21% growth in online sales which is the key to future success. “
N Brown said it will use more celebrities this year to expand some of its brands at a higher price point. Boxer Joe Calzaghe will work with the group to endorse its outsize Jacamo range this year and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, who designed a range for Marisota, will be syndicated to some of its other mainstream brands.
N Brown said that although this year will remain challenging it believes that its niche offer and flexibility of its business model will help it achieve another good performance this year.
Chief executive Alan White said: “Our record results are testament to the flexibility and strength of our business model and this gives us continued confidence for the future.”