N Brown, owner of Simply Be and Jacamo, issues profit alert

Kelly Brook Model Kelly Brook became a brand ambassador for Simply Be earlier this year

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Shares in N Brown, the owner of plus-size clothing brands Simply Be and Jacamo, have sunk 12% after it issued a profit warning following the recent spell of unseasonably warm weather.

It said the mild weather had affected sales of winter clothing.

As a result, it now expects full-year pre-tax profits of between £88m and £92m, compared with a £103m forecast.

Last week, Next said it would be forced to lower its full-year forecasts if the warm autumn weather continued.

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N Brown chief executive Angela Spindler said: "In common with a wider clothing sector which has been adversely affected by unseasonably mild autumn temperatures in September and so far in October, our own performance has also been impacted."

The company also reported a fall in half-year profits. For the 26 weeks to 30 August, it posted pre-tax profits of £42.7m, down from £44.1m a year earlier. Revenues also slipped 0.6% to £407.3m.

N Brown - which also own JD Williams and the lingerie and swimwear brand Figleaves.com - has been reorganising its business to generate more revenue from online sales, instead of a mail-order model.

It has cut its spending on marketing catalogues and its online sales now account for 58% of the business.

Last month, N Brown opened a new flagship store on London's Oxford Street.

However, while retail analysts Conlumino described the store as "highly competitive", it said that "the plus-sized specialist has already highlighted the difficulties of pressing forward with this launch during a period of unseasonably warm autumn weather - an issue that has affected even the most consistent of fashion players, such as John Lewis".

"For N Brown, at a time of notable flux in activities, it means that even the critical Christmas period will not put it back on track, despite planning its marketing campaigns to coincide with the usual seasonal spike," Conlumino added.

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