Haverhill: First profit for online lingerie retailer Figleaves

LINGERIE retailer Figleaves posted the first profit in its 13 year history yesterday after widening its range to include pyjamas and swimwear.

The online firm, which operates from a customer service and warehouse centre in Haverhill, was founded in 1998 by Daniel Nabarro, who studied electrical engineering at Cambridge, and was bought by catalogue and online shopping group N Brown two years ago for �11.5million.

Despite having built its popularity to receive around 1.2million visits to its website each month, it racked up nothing but losses until last year when it scraped a �200,000 surplus, compared with a loss of �1.7m for the previous 12 months.

Its turnaround was driven by a “radical” cost cutting drive and a 20% rise in its own brand sales, helped by branching out into menswear, swimwear and pyjamas.

Figleaves boosted Manchester-based N Brown’s performance, helping it record a 2.5% increase in pre-tax profits to �96.9m in the year to March 3, on sales up 4.8% to �753.2m.

There was also a 50% rise in sales at Jacamo, a brand aimed at larger 30-something men, with a new range backed by former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff selling well.

Menswear brand High & Mighty significantly reduced its losses and its Simply Be brand for larger ladies expanded in the United States.

Most Read

The group said its “robust” performance was helped by lower prices and more special offers, with online sales rising 16% to �377m and accounting for more than half of turnover for the first time.