Don’t compare us with ASOS, pleads N Brown

Plus-size clothing home-shopping group N Brown said investors should not compare the firm with internet fashion retailer ASOS, which warned on profit this month, dragging down online retailing stocks.

Shares in N Brown, which makes more than half its sales online, have lost eight per cent since the warning. ASOS has shed more than a quarter of its value.

“For us particularly we seemed to take a bit of a hit when ASOS took a very large hit,” N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said. “If you look at our business we are an online retailer which is extremely profitable,” she said, pointing to a 2013-14 pretax profit of £100m on sales of £835m.

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“That’s a really strong performance and is very different from the ASOS model, which is a bit more about the top line than the bottom line.”

Ms Spindler was speaking after the Manchester-based website and catalogue group posted a 2.5 per cent rise in underlying sales for the 15 weeks to June 14.

It said sales in the last six weeks of the quarter had improved significantly, being up in the “high single digits”.

Ron McMillan, the former northern chairman for PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a non-executive director.