N Brown year-to-date revenue down 9.9% to £523m

Manchester-based clothing and footwear digital retailer N Brown Group said its third quarter revenue fell 9.3% to £226 million in the 18 weeks ended January 6, 2024, while year-to-date revenue was down 9.9% to £523 million.

N Brown’s retail brands include Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo. The firm employs over 1,700 people.

“The improving product revenue trend reported in the group’s interim results on 12 October 2023 continued in Q3 … ” said N Brown.

“This reflects an improvement in both our Clothing & Footwear and Home businesses in the quarter.

“Strong performance was seen in categories including third-party branded womenswear and lingerie, beauty, gaming consoles and our premium own-brand, Anthology.

“Average item values have continued to be higher, driven by pricing discipline and product mix, whilst volumes, as expected, reflect the continuation of lower consumer confidence and measured choices which we have taken around margin, including the level of marketing investment.

“Within partnerships, the launch of Simply Be on Sainsbury’s online clothing platform and selected stores is performing strongly in its first year, as well as providing enhanced exposure to different customer segments.

“The debtor book continues to perform as expected despite the cost of living pressures on customers, supported by our ongoing assessment and refinement of credit scoring.”

In its outlook and guidance, N Brown said: “Our expectations for FY24 Adjusted EBITDA remain unchanged from those outlined in our Interim Results, with slightly softer revenues expected to be offset by further margin discipline.

“Adjusted net debt is anticipated to improve when compared to previous guidance and is expected to be under £260m at the end of FY24, whilst retaining a strong unsecured net cash position.

“The board remains confident in the strategic direction of the business and in the benefits of the ongoing investment in our digital transformation, with a focus on delivering sustainable profitable growth.

“There has been a slight uptick in customer optimism during 2023 and although we are assuming that macro-economic conditions felt by consumers will still be a feature of our performance during 2024, we believe that conditions will gradually improve.”

N Brown CEO Steve Johnson said: “We are pleased with the progress we have made in transforming the business, the resilience built through our strong balance sheet, and that our full year EBITDA expectations are on track.

“Building on what’s been achieved in the last 12 months, we continue to make progress on our strategic transformation, with the launch of the new Jacamo website another recent milestone.

“2024 will be about further improving the customer experience and positioning the business for future growth, with scheduled launches of the new JD Williams website as well as our Product Information Management system, which will ensure our customers have better product descriptions to inform their purchases.

“Our strong liquidity position provides a solid base for continued investment in our strategic priorities.

“I’d like to thank all our colleagues for their commitment during peak trading, and their continued hard work in progressing our transformation of the business.

“Change on this scale takes time and energy, but we are confident in our strategy and in building a stronger N Brown for all stakeholders.”