New Look's sales suffer in "disappointing" quarter

Helen Cahill
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New Look's sales have taken a dive - and management has warned trading may not improve for some time.

The figures

Total revenue for the 13 weeks ended 24 June fell 4.4 per cent to £338.7m, down from £354.2m in the same quarter a year before.

UK like-for-like sales slumped 7.5 per cent and New Look's website sales were down 0.6 per cent.

The clothing group made a loss after tax of £15.2m, as compared to a profit of £5.8m last year.

Why it's interesting

New Look's directors skipped their bonuses in June when full-year profits plummeted and it became clear the year ahead would be a considerable challenge.

Today, New Look's boss warned that it could take some time to produce a turnaround, and blamed external difficulties in the UK market for the firm's problems.

New Look is not the only high street stalwart struggling with the structural changes in the retail industry; Next reported its first fall in profits for eight years in March. However, the retailer surprised analysts last week when it delivered a sales pick-up in June and July.

What New Look said

Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: "As expected, the UK market has remained difficult, which has resulted in a disappointing quarter of trading. We have managed the business accordingly by controlling costs, tactical investment in our strategic initiatives and enhancing our product proposition.

"We remain committed to our long-term strategy of diversifying the business and reducing our dependence on the UK high street, and are confident that we will see improvements, but expect this to take time."

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