Despite revenue dipping slightly to £715.7m, down from the £728.8m reported in FY21, EBITDA was also higher, rising from £84.9m to £95m.
It comes as the group said the year saw a continuation of the impact of Covid-19, along with the escalation in inflationary headwinds. It said that despite the “difficult backdrop”, it produced a “strong performance” in its strategic brands with product revenue growth of 9.9% and a resurgence in clothing and footwear.
It also noted the group’s total active customers are now in year-on-year growth, up 4% at 2.9 million, while Simply Be and Jacamo closed the year with the “biggest active customer files in their histories”.
The group also held the cost base below pre-pandemic levels despite inflationary pressures, with the adjusted operating cost to group revenue ratio improving from 39.8% in FY20 to 36% this year.
Looking ahead, the group said it has “taken the opportunity to evolve our strategic pillars in support of our vision, mission and purpose”, with an aim to focus on its differentiated retail offering. It is also set to launch a new front end website in FY23 that it claims will “transform the customer’s experience”, and be the first mobile adaptable site.
Chairman Rob McMillan said: “I’d like to thank the whole team at N Brown for their dedication in delivering for our customers. While the backdrop to the year was again challenging, it’s pleasing to see the business demonstrate real resilience and sustained progress.”
Steve Johnson, CEO, said: “I am pleased with our continued progress in transforming N Brown into a more focused digital business, with a distinct and improving offer across our strategic brands. Our strategic brands returned to growth in the year with growing customer numbers.
“As we move forward, we are evolving our priorities to concentrate our growth focus on Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo, where we see the strongest market potential. We’re executing on our investment plans to unlock these opportunities including through new websites which will be rolled out progressively over the coming months.”
He added: “In what has been another volatile period in the consumer environment, I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their continued commitment to serving customers, and their role in delivering a strong performance in the year.
“The work we have done means we are significantly better placed than we were before the pandemic and although cautious in the short-term due to inflationary impacts and consumer behaviour, we remain confident that over the medium-term our strategy will support the delivery of 7% product revenue growth with a 13% EBITDA margin.”