(Adds analyst comments, CEO quotes)
By Rahul B
Oct 11 British plus-size fashion retailer N
Brown Group Plc has shrugged off weakness in the
sector, with growth in online sales lifting first-half revenue,
sending its shares up by around a fifth.
European fashion retailers such as Next Plc and
Hennes & Mauritz AB last month blamed
warmer-than-expected weather for below-forecast results.
N Brown, known for its SimplyBe, Jacamo and JD Williams
brands, said online revenue rose 7.5 percent, with 70 percent of
its online traffic coming from mobile devices.
"Online is the most profitable channel for us, with higher
basket sizes and lower cost on both marketing and processing",
Chief Executive Angela Spindler said on a media call.
First-half revenue rose 1 percent to 429.4 million pounds
The company's shares were up 16.7 percent at 205.1 pence at
N Brown, whose brands target women aged 30 and above, and
those of a larger frame, has reduced its range of household and
electrical items to focus on fashion recent years, and is moving
away from catalogues to online.
Rival Bonmarche Holding Plc, which serves the
50-plus women's clothing market, warned on profit last month,
citing volatility in the sector.
"N Brown has demonstrated that even within the tough market,
there are going to winners and losers, and N Brown has been a
winner over the last 12 months or so," said Darren Shirley, an
analyst at Shore Capital.
The Manchester-based company said adjusted pre-tax profit
fell 19.8 percent to 31.6 million. It added that the
Autumn/Winter season has started in line with its plans and that
it is comfortable with current market expectations for the full
($1 = 0.80 pounds)
(Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar and Rahul B in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sunil Nair and Louise Heavens)