N Brown Group plc, the multi-channel retailer and no.1 UK online retailer for plus size fashion, announces its full year results for the 52 weeks ended 1 March 2014.
-Total Group revenue £834.9m +6.4%
-Operating profit £107.0m +4.7%
-Profit before tax and fair value adjustments £100.1m +5.3%
-Sales from USA operations £10m +21%
-E-commerce sales £463m +9.1%
-Active customer file increased to 7 million +3.7%
-Total dividend 14.23p +4.0%
-Adjusted earnings per share 27.88p -1.0%
-Like-for-like sales from store portfolio +35%
-Positive growth across all customer segments and product categories
-Opening Simply Be/Jacamo flagship store on Oxford Street, London in September
-Strategy delivering confident outlook for 2014/15
Total group revenue increased by 6.4% to £834.9m and 6.3% on a like-for-like basis, excluding the non-comparable periods for newly opened stores. Gross margin reduced by 0.3% for the year as a whole despite a second half improvement in overall margin which came from the reduced bad debt ratio of 7.5% of sales. This was achieved largely following the introduction of new fraud elimination processes and credit policy rule changes on high value electrical products, introduced in the third quarter.
Operating profit was up by 4.7% to £107.0m, after accounting for losses of £6.2m (2013, £6.1m) from the investment in international trading and the Simply Be/Jacamo stores.
Andrew Higginson, N Brown Group Chairman, said: “We are pleased to report another robust year for the Group as we delivered positive growth across all customer segments and product categories.
"We have achieved a lot in the year, whilst at the same time we have entered a period of transition for the business. We are investing in the further development of our multi-channel offer, increasing customer recruitment, revitalising our major brands and driving international expansion for future growth. We are encouraged by the positive signs from these strategic initiatives and we are confident these trends will continue.”
Angela Spindler, Chief Executive, added: “I am encouraged by the results of the early changes we've made to the business and I am delighted that the team has continued to deliver solid growth, whilst preparing for a more ambitious future. The Group has maintained momentum across our multichannel offering in terms of both stores and online, growing the customer base and continuing our progress in the USA. We are particularly encouraged by the strong performances from our younger titles, primarily driven by Simply Be and Jacamo, and have continued to focus on revitalising our core brand of JD Williams which remains key to achieving our future growth ambitions.
“Going forward the benefits of our strategic initiatives will start to come through as we look to achieve a double digit rate of sales growth during the financial year ending February 2016. I am even more convinced that we have a great platform and you'll see us build on that strong base at an even faster pace as the implementation of our plan gathers momentum.”