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N Brown Group sees profits slip amid ‘challenging online market conditions’

N Brown has reported a drop in revenues thanks to “challenging online market conditions”.

In the 53 weeks to 4 March 2023, the parent company of Simply Be and Jacamo posted a 5.3% drop in group revenues to £677.5 million, compared with £715.7 million last year.

Adjusted profit-before-tax also fell by 82.6% to £7.5 million compared with £43 million in the same period last year.

The company also revealed product revenues fell by 6.9% in the period to £433 million.

Adjusted EBITDA fell 39.7% to £57 million, in line with the latest board and market expectations as the company believes the impact of high inflation and consumer confidence will impact trading next year.

According to the online giant, it is “well positioned” to deliver “continue strategic progress”, which includes the launch of its new mobile-first website for Simply Be.

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It will also prioritise new websites for its brands Jacamo and JD Williams, it revealed.

“We have remained adaptable to the trading environment which became more challenging during the year, as inflation impacted both our customers and our cost base,” N Brown CEO Steve Johnson said.

“Although volumes softened, we maintained a disciplined approach to trading, with a particular focus on upholding margin despite a promotional backdrop.

”We continued to make strategic progress despite these challenges, increasing investment during the year, and we successfully launched our new mobile-first website for Simply Be.”

Johnson added: “I would like to thank every single one of our colleagues for their role in achieving this progress, through their commitment to serving our customers and supporting our vision of championing inclusion.

”We are expecting the weaker consumer confidence to continue weighing on our performance before we see a return to growth and are therefore keeping tight control of costs.

“We remain confident in our strategy and are more focused than ever on the transformational priorities which will deliver the biggest benefits, including new websites for Jacamo and JD Williams, and the delivery of our new financial services platform.”

The news comes as the group recently appointed former Hobbs CEO Meg Lustman as a non-executive director.

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