Home shopping retailer N Brown has reported an increase in total group sales and like-for-like sales of 14 per cent in the 20 weeks to January 12.

The sales growth, derived solely from its home shopping business after it sold fulfilment arm Zendor last month, has stayed strong across key ranges and has been particularly buoyant in womenswear.

Sales from established customers were ahead of expectations due to higher response rates and a bigger average spend. Sales from new customers rose 30 per cent for the period following a big push in extra recruitment for existing brands and new titles launched in 2007.

Online growth rocketed 48 per cent for the period, with internet orders now accounting for 28 per cent of the retailer’s total sales.

Due to continuing changes in customer and product mix, margin was 0.5 per cent below last year’s rate, but the company said that this was more than offset by operational cost savings.

The board said it was confident that it would meet its profit expectations for its financial year, which ends in March.