Second profits warning from N Brown

The home shopping business behind brands Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo has issued its second profits warning in the space of six months.

N Brown said it was disappointed by the slower than anticipated progress in profits but pointed out that this masked steps being taken to focus the business on online sales rather than its traditional mail order model.

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Chief executive Angela Spindler also highlighted sales momentum in recent weeks as the group recovered from a slow autumn selling season.

Like-for-like sales were 3.6 per cent higher in the 13 weeks to February 28 but due to the impact of “tactical and strategic” price investments on margins full-year profits are now expected be slightly below City forecasts of £88m.

Shares slumped 13 per cent as the update represents the second downgrade since October, when analysts forecast a surplus as high as £103m.