N Brown profit slumps but revenue returns to growth
N Brown's annual profit almost halved as income fell during the pandemic but the clothing and homewares retailer said product revenue had returned to growth.
Adjusted pretax profit for the year to the end of February fell 49.4% to £30.1m from a year earlier as group revenue dropped 13% to £728.8m.
Product revenue, which excludes financial services income, fell 14.4% to £468.4m. Statutory pretax profit plunged 72.3% to £9.9m.
The owner of the JD Williams and Jacamo brands was already struggling before the pandemic and it was forced to raise £100m from investors in 2020. N Brown has scrapped logos such as High and Mighty to concentrate on core brands and has upgraded its online operations while cutting costs, including switching to an AIM listing.
Product revenue fell 25.7% in the first quarter but improved steadily to decline 4.3% in the final three months of the year. The group's strategic brands increased revenue 1.3% in the final quarter.
N Brown said product revenue had returned to growth since the start of the current year and that it expected annual product revenue to increase by 3-7%. Financial services revenue is expected to fall.
The company said it expected group revenue to grow 1-4% and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to rise to between £93m and £100m from £86.5m.
Steve Johnson, N Brown's chief executive, said: "In a year where we have all had to overcome multiple challenges, we have continued our transformation of the group through a relentless focus on our five strategic brands, improving our product offering and enhancing our digital capabilities. Although we remain cautious, we are beginning to see some early signs of progress."
N Brown shares fell 7.3% to 65.2p at 09:50 BST. The shares had tripled in the past year before the company published its results.