May 3, 2012
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N Brown confident on prospects as profit rises

May 3, 2012

Photo: Simply Be
LONDON - N Brown, the internet and catalogue home shopping firm which targets mature and larger customers, posted a 2.5 percent rise in year profit, solid recent trading and said it was confident about prospects for 2012.

"Although we do not expect the market to materially improve, we believe consumer confidence will begin to pick up later this year and we are confident that our strategy will continue to deliver in 2012," it said on Tuesday.

The Manchester, northwest England, based company made a pretax profit of 96.9 million pounds in the year to March 3.

That compares with analysts' consensus forecast of 94.5 million pounds, according to a company poll of 10, and 94.5 million pounds in the 2010-11 year.

N Brown, whose brands include Simply Be, Jacamo and Marisota, said revenue rose 4.8 percent to 753.2 million pounds.

It said like-for-like sales were up 0.6 percent in the eight weeks to April 28.

Many retailers are still struggling as consumers grapple with inflation, muted wage growth and government austerity measures, and worry about job security and a stagnant housing market.

N Brown is paying a dividend of 13.03 pence, up 5 percent.

Shares in the firm, which have fallen 24 percent over the last year, closed at 229 pence on Monday, valuing the business at 649 million pounds.

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