Outgoing N Brown chief signs off with profits rise

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The Independent Online

The chief executive of N Brown has signed off his last results at the catalogue and online retailer with a rise in profits and confidence about growth prospects.

Alan White, who steps down in July following 11 years at the helm, waxed lyrical about a huge opportunity in the US after the group posted a small rise in annual profits.

N Brown, which targets the older, larger customer, launched its Simply Be womenswear in the US in 2010, and said sales there rocketed by 75 per cent to £8.4m last year. The online specialist aims to grab a 1 per cent share of the plus-size womenswear market in the US, which is worth $35bn (£23bn).

Mr White, who joined N Brown in 1985 but spent three years at Shop Direct around the millennium, will be succeeded by Angela Spindler.

N Brown grew its profits by 2.6 per cent to £96.4m in the year to 2 March. Its sales rose 6 per cent to £784.7m, with online accounting for more than half of that.