• N Brown Q1 group sales down 0.2%
  • Product sales down 1.6%
  • Group bolstered by financial services revenue up 3.4%
  • Chief executive said sales are “satisfactory when viewed against the challenging market backdrop”.

Fashion retailer N Brown has posted a 1.6% slide in product sales during its first quarter against a “challenging market backdrop”.

The plus-size fashion specialist, whose brands include Simply Be, Jacamo and JD Williams, has reported a 0.2% drop in first-quarter group sales.

The group was bolstered by a 3.4% growth in its financial services division, but its retail sales fell 1.6% during the 13 weeks to May 28.

N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said that product sales were “satisfactory” when viewed against the “challenging market backdrop”.

She said: “Our three power brands, JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, continue to outperform the wider group.

“Revenue from our Traditional segment has continued to decline, but remedial actions are now well under way.”

She added that the group’s transformation programme, Fit 4 the Future, remains “on track”.

N Brown said it has continued to increase its online penetration, which is up 5% year-on-year and now accounts for 6% of total sales.

The retailer recorded “healthy active customer growth” in its Simply Be, Jacamo and JD Williams brands, but said this was offset by a decline in its Fifty Plus brand.

The retailer said that overall trading was “in line with expectations” and its full year guidance remains unchanged.