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Momentum hailed at online fashion giant after turnaround plan success

The online fashion group behind the likes of Jacamo, JD Williams and Simply Be has hailed its positive momentum heading towards the busy Christmas period following the Manchester-headquartered company’s turnaround plan.

N Brown, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it has seen early improvements on the back of “restructuring work” after pushing forward with a new strategy last summer in a bid to return to growth.

The retailer reported that adjusted pre-tax profits increased by 7.1% to £24.2m for the six months to August 28, compared with the same period last year.

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However, it said total group revenues were 0.1% lower at £346.8m.

N Brown said it has increased its marketing activity with partnerships alongside the likes of Amanda Holden and Davina McCall as part of its “refreshed” strategy.

The strategy will focus on the group’s five core brands: Simply Be, Jacamo, JD Williams, Ambrose Wilson and Home Essentials.

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The group said earnings so far this year are still “in line” with its expectations as its heads towards the key Christmas period.

However it also stressed that there is a “backdrop of continued uncertainty around consumer confidence”.

Chief executive Steve Johnson said: “Over the last six months the consumer environment has been volatile. Nevertheless, momentum has continued throughout the business, with customers responding well to our improved product ranges; particularly across our five strategic brands.

“This is testament to the restructuring work we have done across the group and the investments we are beginning to make to support our refreshed strategy.

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“None of this would be possible without the talent, drive and commitment of our team, who have responded incredibly to the uncertainties we face.

“Our mission is to be the most inclusive retailer in the UK, across both fashion and home. We’re excited to see new brand partnerships resonating with both existing and new customers, bringing this mission to life, including Amanda Holden and Davina McCall on JD Williams, and Frankie Bridge and Nicki Bamford-Bowes on Home Essentials.

“We continue to deliver on our plan and are feeling well prepared for peak trading. EBITDA remains in-line with our expectations, and we are looking forward to exciting our customers with our new ranges as we head towards the Christmas peak.

“However, we do so with the backdrop of continued uncertainty around consumer confidence.”

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