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N Brown Group revenues slip almost £40m amid “weaker consumer confidence”

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N Brown Group revenue for the 53 weeks to March 4, 2023 contracted by 5.3 percent to 677.5 million pounds, a fall of almost £40m, which it said reflected “challenging online market conditions.”

Adjusted EBITDA of 57.3 million pounds was also down over prior year, while adjusted profit before tax reached 7.5 million pounds. The company further noted that “statutory loss before tax reflects final Allianz litigation settlement and a non-cash impairment to non-financial assets of £53m,” referring in large part to the ongoing claim from Allianz against N Brown brand JD Williams regarding products including payment protection insurance.

The company said that product revenue declined 6.9 percent, with strategic brands down 5.3 percent. Lower retail sales, net of higher customer credit penetration, led to lower FS revenue, down 2.4 percent.

Steve Johnson, N Brown’s chief executive, said in a statement: “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.”

Johnson added that he expected the challenging market conditions to continue, although he remained confident that N Brown was poised to weather the storm: “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,” he said. “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.”

N Brown’s brands include JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo. It employs almost 2,000 people nationwide.

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