Internet and catalogue retailer N Brown Group Plc managed to book a 1.2% rise in like-for-like sales over the festive trading period, but said demand was dampened by snowy weather in the run-up to Christmas.

The company, which is best known for its plus-size and value brands Simply Be, Jacamo and Marisota, as well as online lingerie retailer Figleaves, managed to increase total group revenue by 4.6% in the 19 weeks to 8 January.

But from mid-December onwards, sales slipped as customers became concerned whether their Christmas orders would be delivered on time during the extreme weather.

N Brown also said the weather had left it with a mail backlog which meant the despatch of its catalogues and statements has been delayed in the last four weeks. "We expect part of these sales to be recovered once these marketing materials arrive with the customers," the company added.

Growth was seen in men's wear and footwear as well as a 26% increase in online sales, which now account for 47% of group revenues. Gross margins also rose by 1.2% in the period, through a combination of less discounting and reduced bad debt charges.