N Brown year to date revenue ‘resilient’ at £614m

Manchester-based online fashion and home goods retailer N Brown Group said on Thursday its year to date revenue slipped 1.7% to £614.4 million as it “performed resiliently” in its third quarter peak period.

In a third-quarter trading update for the 18 weeks to January 1, N Brown said Q3 product revenue of £181.2 million “reflects the continued growth in the five strategic brands of +5.5% on Q3 FY21, offset by the managed decline of our legacy other brands, which now represent less than 20% of product revenue.”

N Brown’s five core brands are Simply Be, Jacamo, JD Williams, Ambrose Wilson and Home Essentials.

Q3 group revenue was down 3.3% at £267.6 million.

In its FY22 outlook and guidance, N Brown said: “The Q3 strategic brands growth was in the context of a softer online home market, resulting in FY22 YTD group revenue of -1.7%, slightly behind our previous expectations for the full year of broadly flat.

“For full year FY22 we expect to report adjusted EBITDA between £93m and £96m, which is at the lower end of our previously guided range, reflecting the online market conditions and a slightly higher level of project spend now being expensed rather than capitalised.

“Net interest costs continue to improve and are now expected to be c.£14m. Depreciation and amortisation is expected to be favourable to that previously guided at c.£39m.

“We expect capex of c.£22m, lower than previous guidance, net of the project spend now being expensed rather than capitalised.

“At the end of FY22 we expect the group to have a strong unsecured net cash position with net debt anticipated to improve on previous guidance and be in the range of £260m to £265m.

“The board remains confident in achieving the group’s medium-term objective of delivering sustainable profitable growth.”

N Brown CEO Steve Johnson said: “The business has performed resiliently over the peak period and our colleagues have worked tirelessly to deliver for customers in challenging circumstances.

“Against the backdrop of Covid uncertainty, a volatile consumer environment and well-documented supply chain issues, the continued growth of our strategic brands has been particularly pleasing, as has a return to growth in active customers.

“We are now seeing more people than ever shopping with Simply Be and Jacamo.

“JD Williams is also resonating well with customers, particularly on the back of our successful partnerships with Amanda Holden and Davina McCall.

“We have continued to execute on our plan and, looking ahead, will continue our strategic investment to transform the business, supported by a robust balance sheet and a strengthened executive team.”

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