Mar 11, 2015
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Plus-size retailer N Brown warns on full-year profit

Mar 11, 2015

N Brown Group Plc, a British online and catalogue-based plus-size apparel retailer, cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time, after a challenging autumn season.

Shares in N Brown, which makes over half its sales online, fell as much as 15 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

An ad from the Simply Be line - N Brown

The company, whose brands include Simply Be and Jacamo, said it now expected pretax profit slightly below the current market consensus of 88 million pounds ($132.67 million) for the year ending March 2015.

The Manchester, northern England-based retailer had earlier trimmed its full-year profit forecast in October, citing an unseasonably warm start to the autumn/winter season.

N Brown, which has reduced its range of non-core home and electrical items to focus on fashion clothing, said fourth-quarter sales grew 3.6 percent while full-year sales were flat from a year earlier.

The company said it would close its Gray & Osbourn catalogue business, which is likely to result in exceptional costs of about 11 million to 13 million pounds in the year.

The company expects capital expenditure of 50 million to 60 million pounds in the year ending March 2016, as it plans to invest in an extension of its warehouse.

"We estimate a full-year 2015 miss of about 2 percent," analyst Matthew McEachran of N+1 Singer wrote in a note, adding that lower sales and margins would hurt full-year 2016 forecasts as well. He estimated a consensus downgrade of about 5 percent and higher net debt.

N Brown shares were down 13.6 percent at 352.8 pence at 0838 GMT.

£1 = $1.50

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