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Noni B Group looks at rebrand, profit hit by restructures

Fashion retailer Noni B Group enjoyed the benefit of its first year of trading as a significant multi-brand retail group during FY19 and is seeking to push further into this direction: floating a name change to Mosaic Brands Ltd.

According to Noni B Group chairman Richard Facioni, this change is another significant milestone for the group, and reflects the synergistic and complementary collection of brands that are now part of its portfolio.

Noni B Group currently operates the Millers, W.Lane, Noni B, Rivers, Katies, Autograph, Rockmans, Crossroads and BeMe brands. 

While the five former-Specialty Fashion Group brands acquired in July 2018 made a collective positive earnings contribution to the group, ongoing costs relating to the acquisition, as well as restructuring, hit the group’s bottom line for FY19.

Noni B Group announced on Tuesday net profit had fallen 52 per cent to $8.2 million from $17.3 million the year prior, while EBITDA rose 22 per cent to $45.5 million, and revenue grew to $881.9 million, from $372.4 million the year prior – a 136 per cent increase.

“This result, at a time of considerable change within the business and an uncertain economic climate globally and domestically is a significant achievement,” Facinoni said.

“When we announced the acquisition of the Specialty brands, we conservatively expected them to break-even on an EBITDA basis in FY2019, returning to profit in FY2020. 

“We achieved anticipated synergies and merger benefits ahead of schedule and identified additional efficiencies, resulting in the five brands, collectively, making a positive earnings contribution for the year.”

Noni B Group managing director Scott Evans said that he was pleased with the result, and that lessons learned through operating nine separate brands across an expanded footprint had enhanced the group’s understanding of its customer’s product preferences, shopping habits, and behaviours.

“These insights have guided our decisions across the group to improve all aspects of our customers’ journey,” Evans said. 

“In summary, we are a very different company than a year ago. The changes we have made have created a stronger and more profitable business which is financially stable, generates cash and provides a solid platform for future expansions.”

“We are excited about the potential to be unlocked by greater analysis of our group’s data, store expansion and online strategies.”

Evans expects the group’s omnichannel strategy will be a pillar for growth moving forward. 

Online sales grew to 9.8 per cent of total group sales in FY19 from 4 per cent in FY18, having reached comparable sales growth of 21 per cent – which the acquired brands saw sales growth of 15 per cent, up from 9 per cent in FY18.

This result has prompted further investment in the online space – with Noni B Group looking to expand the online team, add further digital marketing channels and improve its customer experience. 

For FY20, Noni B Group is expecting underlying EBITDA to reach $75 million – in line with market consensus.

Shareholders will be able to vote on the potential name change at the group’s AGM in November.

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