New Look IPO: We’re dressed up and ready for a float, says chief exec

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Fashion retailer New Look has enjoyed strong sales in recent times
New Look is ready to consider another attempt at an initial public offering (IPO), the fashion retailer’s chief executive said yesterday, as it blamed the warm weather for a fall in third quarter sales.

Anders Kristiansen has consistently brushed off rumours that the retailer is planning a return to the market. New Look pulled a planned listing in 2010 after investors balked at levels of debt.

However, yesterday he gave the strongest indication yet that a float could be on the cards, after a strong performance over the last year.

“We’ve demonstrated that in tough periods we continue to perform well so I think this business is ... ready [to float],” he said, adding however that any decision would be up to its private equity owners, Apax and Permira.

“It’s my job to ensure that we have got the company in a perfect state for an IPO,” said Kristiansen.

New Look said sales at stores open more than a year fell 1.7 per cent in the 13 weeks to 27 December compared with the year before, after the Autumn’s warm weather hurt sales in October and November.

Kristiansen said sales bounced back in December, with like-for-like sales up 4.1 per cent in the seven weeks to 3 January, adding that the new collection has been well-received.

Total sales over the period fell 1.6 per cent to £399.9m but were up 2.9 per cent to £1.1bn over the 39 weeks to 27 December.

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