Figleaves owner wows City with plus-sized profit

Fashionable underwear and dresses for plus-size thirtysomethings helped catalogue business N Brown report a surprise profit rise.

The company's online lingerie business Figleaves posted its first-ever profit as the home shopping group today reported a 2.5 per cent rise in profits to £96.9m in the year to 3 March. N Brown's plus-size brands Simply Be, Jacamo and Marisota reported strong growth.

Its US business saw sales increase from £800,000 to £4.8m, and group revenue rose 4.8 per cent to £753.2m. Like-for-like sales grew 0.6 per cent in the eight weeks to April 28. The dividend is up 5 per cent at 13.03p. The results impressed investors, sending shares 12.6p up to 241.8p.