Q1 sales down by 10% at retail shopping group

Retail shopping group N Brown has reported a decline in first quarter sales with trading in line with expectations.

According to its latest trading update for the 13 weeks ended 3 June 2023, total sales were down 9.9% to £148.7m against the same period last year. Product revenue was down 11.9% to £93.6m.

As outlined in its FY23 Preliminary results, the softer product revenue seen in Q4 FY23 has broadly continued into Q1 FY24, reflecting “poor early Spring weather and low consumer confidence”.

“The impact of these factors on volumes has been partially offset by higher average item values, and we saw an improving product revenue trend across the quarter. Financial Services revenue reflects the lower FY23 closing debtor book position, as anticipated,” N Brown said.

“Our expectations for FY24 remain unchanged from those outlined in our Preliminary results on 6 June 2023. We remain confident in the strategic direction of the business and in the benefits of the ongoing investment in our digital transformation, with a focus on delivering sustainable profitable growth.”

Steve Johnson, Chief Executive, commented: “We have started the year with an elevated focus on the transformational priorities which will deliver the biggest benefits, including new mobile‐first websites for Jacamo and JD Williams, and the delivery of our new financial services platform. We are pleased with the progress we are making including moving towards the full roll‐out to customers of the new Jacamo website.

“As flagged in our FY23 Preliminary results, we expect weak consumer confidence to continue through FY24 and are therefore taking a disciplined approach to managing costs and driving margin improvements whilst we invest in the business for medium‐term growth. We remain confident in the strategy, and expect to continue to deliver progress across each of our strategic pillars this year.”

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