Catalogue retailer N Brown Group on Wednesday posted a 7.6 per cent year-on-year climb in first half pre-tax profit to £27.5 million but said sales for the start of the second half were flat amid unseasonal weather.

The Manchester-based company, which generates around half of its revenue from women’s wear, said turnover for the six months to August 31 climbed 3.1 per cent to £226m but sales in the six weeks after that date were flat.

N Brown, which produces catalogues including Simply Be and Ambrose Wilson, said: "Whilst it is too early to predict the outcome for the year, we expect to continue our record of sales and profits growth.

"It is reassuring that our core home shopping business continues to perform well against the background of a lacklustre home shopping sector."