N Brown shares rise despite PPI hit

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Shares in N Brown popped higher on Thursday after the plus-size clothing retailer announced annual results that served up no surprises and showed demand for its products – mainly aimed at older female customers – was resilient.

Shares rose as much as 6.5 per cent to 241.25p.

N Brown reported a sharp drop in annual profits on Thursday, largely due to an exceptional cost relating to customer redress for mis-sold payment protection insurance.

The group had sold the product through its financial services business which offers customers credit to help them pay for their purchases. Earlier this month it warned that this would be higher than expected, in part because the deadline for customers claiming compensation in the long-running PPI mis-selling saga is this August.

As a result of this, pre-tax profit slipped 23 per cent to £55.6m in the year to February 25 but there were no unpleasant surprises in the numbers and chief executive Angela Spindler said she was pleased with the results. Overall clothing sales rose 4.2 per cent year-on-year, the fastest pace of growth since 2008.

The retailer also announced it has recruited Richard Clark, a former executive at online retailer Boohoo, to be its international director focusing mainly on the US, where it recently relaunched its website.

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