New Look in hot demand thanks to July weather

Kasmira Jefford
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FASHION retailer New Look yesterday said July’s heatwave helped the group get off to a “strong start” in the second quarter of the year, with skirts, dresses and swimsuits flying off the shelves.

The company said that despite volatile trading in the first quarter – when the UK experienced the coldest spring for 50 years – like-for-like sales rose by one per cent in the period to 30 June.

Total sales rose 4.9 per cent to £363m while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation rose 13.1 per cent.

Sales through its website were particularly strong, soaring by 78.7 per cent in the period.

New Look chief exec Anders Kristiansen said he was pleased with the low level of returns, which stand at around 25 per cent of goods bought compared to around 40 to 50 per cent for the wider sector.

The hot summer weather at the start of the second quarter meant it had also sold more items at full price, with fewer markdowns.

“We have enjoyed a good start to the second quarter but we have still got our sleeves rolled up, with our biggest quarter still to come,” Kristiansen told City A.M.

“While economic signs are encouraging we want to stay vigilant and focused on maintaining a tight business model.” he said.

New Look runs around 1,100 stores in 32 countries and is owned by its founder Tom Singh and private equity firms Apax and Permira.

The chain returned to profit last year thanks to a turnaround plan that has driven out £100m of costs over the last two years.