N Brown saw a return to growth in Q1 FY22 as group revenues climbed 0.5% year-on-year to £168.7m during the period.
Revenues at the retailer’s strategic brands, which included Jacamo, Simply Be, JD Williams, Ambrose Wilson, and Home Essentials, spiked 15.5% when compared to Q1 FY21.
This has come as a result of a strategic transformation at the group, with strategic brands comprising 81% of product revenue in the 13 weeks to 29 May 2021, compared to 67% in the same period two years ago.
The uptick in strategic brand investment in turn resulted in a 24.6% year-on-year decline to the group’s Q1 other brands revenue, with financial services revenues falling 5.9% in the same period.
Steve Johnson, chief executive at N Brown, said: “The strategic transformation initiatives we have enacted over the past two years have now started to deliver product revenue growth, with customers responding well to the new ranges across our core brands.
“We have a number of exciting initiatives in the pipeline and today we have announced a new partnership with Amanda Holden and Davina McCall to be the new faces of JD Williams.”
While the group has finished the quarter with net cash of £84.9m, its FY22 guidance of expected net debt of at least £280m remained unchanged.
Moreover, N Brown’s forecasted adjusted EBITDA in the range of £93m and £100m, and product revenue growth of between 3% and 7% also remain.
Johnson added that “whilst the external environment remains challenging”, the group’s trading “remains in-line with our expectations”.