N Brown returns to profit amid strong H1 results

Fashion retailer N Brown has returned to profit after reporting an 151.9% increase in statutory operating profit to £14.7m, up from a negative of £28m compared with the same period last year.

N Brown, which owns Simply Be, Jacamo, JD Williams and Ambrose Wilson, said it “spent a substantial amount of time” working on the future of its brand portfolio and finalising the strategic direction for its brands. 

However, during the six months to 31 August total revenue slipped to £432.9m from £457.8m 12 months earlier, and gross profit decreased by 6.6% to £231.8m. Despite this, adjusted pre-tax profits increased by 3.9% from £30.6m to £31.8m.

Chief executive Steve Johnson said the online retail business made “good progress”on its new strategy in the first half of its financial year, and added the company would “work to create sustainable profit growth”. 

He added: “This has been achieved by taking a more targeted approach to marketing and customer recruitment.

“The retail environment remains heavily promotional, but we are concentrating on continuing to improve our customer proposition and ensuring we operate as efficiently as possible, which has led to an increase of 4% in adjusted EBITDA for the period.”

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