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Home and gift revenues grow for home shopping group N Brown, in its first half year trading update for the 26 weeks to 27 August 2016.

According to the retailer’s half-year figures, total group revenue rose by 1% to £429.4m, whilst trading profit before tax fell 19.8% to £31.6m, but remained ‘ahead of market expectations’. Exceptional costs of £10.2m largely relate to ‘financial services customer redress’.

Within its Home and Gift sector, the Manchester-based group, which owns the JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo brands, said that revenue rose by 2.9%, with furniture the stand out performer with strong sales. N Brown said its ‘Famous Five’ categories, including furniture, gifting, home textiles, kitchen and home décor, were up by 8% year-on-year.

Recently, N Brown revealed that it has launched its new USA website, as well as achieving full FCA authorisation.

Angela Spindler, CEO, commented: “I am pleased with the progress we made during the half, as we continue to change to a digital business model. Spring Summer was challenging for the entire retail sector, and we were not immune to this, but we demonstrated our flexibility as we improved revenue performance through the season whilst controlling our costs well.

“The Autumn Winter has started in line with our plans. Our improving agility is enabling us to trade business in a volatile environment. At this stage we are comfortable with current market expectations for the full year.”