Sep 30, 2020
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N Brown sales fall but recovery has begun

Sep 30, 2020

JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo owner N Brown has faced major challenges in recent years and the challenges have continued in 2020. On Wednesday, the company updated the market on its six months to the end of August, saying product sales fell more than 20%.

Simply Be

However, it said it saw an improved product revenue trajectory through Q2 and with 92% of product revenue now digital, the fact that consumers are increasingly shopping online should be good news for the firm. 

Also on the plus side, financial services cash collection rates have been in line with the prior year, it’s seeing continued operating cost reduction, as well as cutting its debt load and continuing to trade in line with its expectations.

The first half to August 29 saw group revenue falling 17.6% and product revenue down 20.5%. That divided into a fall of 28.8% in Q1 and 12% in Q2.

But as mentioned, sales are recovering. Apparel sales have continued to bounce back from weak mid-March levels and demand for Home & Gift, supported by the launch of its new Home Essentials brand on April 1, have continued to be well above the prior year.  

N Brown said that all Womenswear and Menswear brands performed better in the second quarter, in particular JD Williams and Jacamo.

The company is continuing to focus on cutting operating costs with Q2 costs "materially lower”. And while profits are set to fall, it’s “confident of offsetting at least 75% of the group gross profit decline through operational cost savings”.

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