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N Brown shares slump despite turnaround ‘progress’

Shares in N Brown tumbled 10pc in early trade despite the catalogue retailer claiming its turnaround was making progress.

The company, which has spent the past year transitioning to digital sales, reported an 11pc rise in profits in the second half of its year.

However, for the full year, pre-tax profits fell 7.8pc to £72.2m, as a result of “exceptional costs” largely incurred in the first half.

Revenue rose 3.5pc to £866.2m in the year to the end of February.

The FTSE 250 company said the results were in line with expectations.

“It has been a very busy year for N Brown as we continue to transform the way we operate as a fashion retailer – from being mail-order led, to a business that puts digital first,” said chief executive Angela Spindler. “Whilst we face challenging market conditions for the fashion sector overall, and trading since the year end has been subdued, we remain confident in our ability to make further progress this year.”

The Manchester-based company, which employs more than 2,800 people, said two-thirds of sales were now made online.

N Brown owns niche fashion brands including JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, and has had collaborations with former cricketer Freddie Flintoff and TV presenters Lorraine Kelly and Jameela Jamil.

The company was forced to issue its second profit warning in less than six months last year after it had to slash prices to shift winter stock.