Fashion retailer N Brown has today posted falls in both profit and revenue for the last financial year, blaming the drop on a lengthy period of “restructuring” the business.
In the 12 months to 29 February 2020, the owner of the Simply Be and Jacamo brands said adjusted profit before tax fell 28.8 per cent to £59.5m, down from £83.6m a year ago.
Group revenue slumped 6.1 per cent to £858.2m, down from £914.4m.
Shares in N Brown fell more than five per cent as traders reacted to the news.
In a trading update for the first quarter of this year, which was beset by store closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, N Brown said revenue had fallen 22 per cent.
Product sales had dropped 28.8 per cent, but had picked back up slightly in the last three weeks to only be down 21 per cent for the quarter.
In what the retailer called a “critical year for the group’s transition to digital”, N Brown said 85 per cent of its product revenue for last year came through digital channels.
Operating costs fell 9.9 per cent, which it said was the result of a “strategic focus on cost base”.
Chief executive Steve Johnson said: “The crisis will cast a lasting shadow over the sector, but we are confident that our agile approach and attractive brand offerings, with clear target customer segments, position us well to navigate the issues and emerge as a stronger business.”
“N Brown Group has been through an extended mill, facing challenge after challenge topped off by Covid-19, which has taken a toll on its share price,” said analysts at Shore Capital Markets.
“The UK consumer economy is in a tough place and whilst choppy waters abound, we believe N Brown is in far better shape to traverse them than it was just 15 months ago, with the potential to emerge with more reward for shareholders.”