N Brown targets $35bn plus-size US market

N Brown is to enter the US market at the end of the summer to grab a slice of the $35bn plus-size market over the pond, the home shopping group revealed yesterday as it reported a surge in online sales for the year to the end of February.

The internet and catalogue company, which targets plus-size consumers, is to trial its Simply Be fashion range in the US, following a successful launch in Germany last year. Alan White, the chief executive, said: "It is a massive plus-size market in the US. It is a huge opportunity if we can get even a slither of the $35bn market."

For the 12 months to 27 February, N Brown delivered adjusted pre-tax profits up by 12.6 per cent to £93.1m.

Lord Alliance of Manchester, the chairman, said online sales were the "key to future success". Over the year, online sales grew 21 per cent to £272m to account for more than 39 per cent of group sales, which were up by 4.2 per cent to £690m. Mr White said he expects online sales to account for more than half of total sales over the next two years.

N Brown's two fastest growing brands were Marisota, which targets women in their fifties, and the branded menswear range Jacamo for larger men typically aged under 45.