New Look defies warm weather as profits soar

 
Catherine Neilan
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New Look: Keeping the cold out with hot fashion (Source: Getty).
New Look has defied the warm weather that has dampened other retailers' sales, with the fast fashion business reporting profits up a whopping 89.1 per cent for the first half of the year.
Profits before tax stood at £26.1m for the six months to September 27 – up on £13.8m the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA rose 9.2 per cent to £113.2m.
Excluding French business Mim, which it is currently in the process of selling, the business grew profits 30.7 per cent to £28.1m.
Revenues for the group climbed 4.7 per cent to £788.6m, while like for like sales rose 6.9 per cent. In the UK, sales were up 8.3 per cent to £627.4m. Ecommerce was particularly strong, both through New Look's own website and third parties such as Asos and Alibaba-owned etailer T-mall, up 36.4 per cent.
The retailer highlighted its growth came “despite adverse Q2 weather”, though said management remained cautious about the rest of the year.
Its international expansion is also continuing, with 14 stores now open in China and plans for 20 by the year-end.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “There has been a great deal of commentary about the warm weather affecting UK high street sales and we are no different, but it is testament to the agility and responsiveness of our business, and appeal of our product that we maintained our strong gross margin in the period. Our continued focus on international expansion will help us to reduce our exposure to the UK weather in the longer term.
“We have made good progress both internationally and in terms of developing our E-commerce proposition. We have increased our presence in China, both in store and online, expanded our Polish business, launched French and German versions of our website and continued to make improvements to our online user experience.
“We are continuing to deliver on our strategic goals we outlined nearly two years ago, and we are well prepared for the Christmas trading period.”

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