Price-cutting hits profits at clothing chain N Brown

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The Independent Online

The catalogue and online shopping group N Brown warned yesterday that aggressive promotional discounting had cut into its profit margins, but said sales remained buoyant.

The company, which also owns the Figleaves womenswear and High & Mighty brands, said price-cutting was necessary to help drive up its revenues, which rose by 1.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the 18 weeks to 2 July.

The campaign to attract customers saw its gross margins dip by 0.2 per cent over the period, but revenues rose by 5.1 per cent. N Brown said sales of its menswear and footwear ranges were growing strongly, while ladieswear was down – a trend consistent with the same period last year.

High inflation was also hitting its core ladieswear ranges, while clothing at the higher price points was doing well. In its brand portfolio, Jacamo, Marisota and Simply Be all performed strongly.

N Brown said international sales for Simply Be in Germany and the US were rising in line with expectations.