Plus-size retailer N Brown's profit falls 21 pct

British plus-size fashion retailer N Brown Group Plc reported a 21 percent fall in full-year profit, hurt by weak winter sales, and reiterated its 2015 guidance.

N Brown, whose brands include Simply Be and Jacamo, said statutory pretax profit fell to 76.3 million pounds ($117 million) for the year from 96.8 million pounds a year earlier.

An ad from the Simply Be line - N Brown

Revenue was flat at 818 million pounds for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 28.
British retailers faced a tough 2014 partly due to a mild autumn that hit sales of winter fashions. Muted wage growth in Britain also forced consumers to keep spending under control.

Fashion retailer French Connection Group Plc last week said it expected its full-year results to be below market estimates as the previous year's challenging trading conditions continued through Easter.

The Manchester, northern England-based N Brown, which cut its full-year profit forecast for the second time in March, said on Wednesday it was confident of future profit growth.

The company, which targets older and larger shoppers mainly through its online and catalogue stores, also said it plans increase the number of stores in the UK to 25 from 15.

Online sales now represent 59 percent of N Brown's home shopping sales compared with 58 percent last year.

N Brown shares have lost 17 percent of their value since the beginning of the year.

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