Dec 10, 2014
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N Brown sales improving as winter wear demand picks up

Dec 10, 2014

N Brown Group, a British online and catalogue-based plus-size apparel retailer, said demand was improving as sales of winter wear were picking up after a dull start in September due to warmer-than-usual weather.

Shares of N Brown, known for its brands SimplyBe, Jacamo and Marisota, rose as much as 8 percent.

N Brown said its revenue fell 10.8 percent in September, but rose 1.5 percent in October and 3 percent in November.

"We are now seeing good sales in winter-related fashion product, which was what was driving issues earlier in the quarter," Chief Executive Angela Spindler told Reuters.

A number of big British clothing retailers, including Next and SuperGroup Plc have trimmed their full-year profit forecasts in recent weeks as warm autumn weather kept coats and scarves on the shelf.

N Brown said increased focus on its online business and the relaunch of its biggest brand, JD Williams, in July was boosting sales.

The company's Black Friday sales rose 54 percent and transactions rose 67 percent as customers increasingly go online for their holiday shopping. The Manchester-based retailer gets almost two-thirds of its revenue from its online business.

"Black Friday was great, a great way to stimulate customer demand and get Christmas started ... We expect record online sales during Christmas," Spindler said.

N Brown, however, said its total revenue fell 2.3 percent in the 13 weeks ended Nov. 29. The company had warned in October that its full-year profit would be lower.

N Brown's shares were up 7 percent at 350.40 pence on the London Stock Exchange at 1045 GMT. Up to Tuesday's close, the stock had fallen about 39 percent this year.

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