Have you tested it in multiple browsers. From experience I thought IE rendered BR different to FF and Chrome.
I would usually try to avoid BR, I actually thought it was a deprecated tag, but I’ve just read it is not depreciated. That’s html bigotry for you.
Personally I would always go the CSS route and avoid BR where possible.
Long story short, as both versions are so similar, I’d suggest you test multiple browsers instead (including recent older versions if you can be bothered) and use the style or tag that give most similar output across all tested browsers.
Also, it looks like you are using inline style instead of seperate external CSS stylesheet file.
Consider learning external stylesheet (CSS) which you can use globally across pages and/or elements which will also cut CSS redundancy and duplication and make page load times marginally faster and more efficient.