New Look sales, profits rise despite "competitive" market

 
Catherine Neilan
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New Look: Parents Brait will be feeling confident about the future (Source: New Look)
New Look's new parents will be pleased with the fast fashion's latest set of results, showing the turnaround under Anders Kristiansen continuing to stabilise a previously struggling business.

The figures

Revenues were up 3.4 per cent to £1.4bn for the year to March 28, as like-for-likes climbed four per cent and UK like-for-likes rose 5.1 per cent.
Ecommerce jumped 34 per cent, though this was at a slower rate than last year's 63.9 per cent increase. Own website sales were up 30.4 per cent.
Group adjusted EBITDA rose four per cent to £212.4m, while underlying operating profit was up 8.7 per cent.

Why it's interesting

New Look was sold for £780m just a fortnight ago to South African magnate Christo Wiese, who has long wanted to return to the UK's high street. Wiese had been linked with BHS but went instead with the fast-fashion business owned by private equity firms Apax and Permira. With these figures, Wiese is presumably feeling quietly confident about his new venture.
In the past couple of years Kristiansen has turned the business around, improving its product, strengthening its menswear division and pushing ahead with international growth – New Look traded well in its first year in China, the results said.
He has also bought it more time to pay down its huge debts.
While it has taken the likes of Marks & Spencer several quarters to get it right, Kristiansen has managed to achieve all this in just over two years.

What they said

New Look noted that the high street was “as competitive as ever”, but said it was pleased with early summer trading.
“We are confident that the increasing strength of the New Look brand leaves us well placed for the year ahead.”
Kristiansen added: “These strong results demonstrate a year of delivery against our strategy. With the support of our new owners Brait, this is a hugely exciting time for New Look, as we continue to focus on our strategic initiatives of brand, multichannel, international expansion, product development and menswear.
“Our spring collections are being well received and I would like to thank everybody at New Look for their hard work over the last twelve months as we enter the new financial year with continued momentum.”

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