N Brown shares hit amid 83% profit fall, CEO warning

Shares of Manchester-based online fashion and home goods retailer N Brown Group fell about 10% after it said group revenue fell 5.3% to £677.5 million in the 53 weeks to March 4, 2023, “reflecting challenging online market conditions” and its CEO said the group is “expecting the weaker consumer confidence to continue weighing on our performance.”

Adjusted profit before tax fell 82.6% to £7.5 million.

N Brown made a statutory loss before tax of £71.1 million, which the firm said “reflects final Allianz litigation settlement and a non-cash impairment to non-financial assets of £53m.”

N Brown’s retail brands include JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, and the group employs 1,800 people across the UK.

N Brown Group CEO Steve Johnson said: “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.

“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.

“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 a 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.”