New Look notches up increased sales and profits
RETAILER New Look has notched up increased sales and profits in its first full year of ownership under South African firm Brait.
The company said revenue rose 5.4 per cent to £1.4 billion, driven by a 3.4 per cent increase in like-for-like sales at its UK stores. Website sales were up 27.9 per cent.
Pre-tax profits grew 16.8 per cent to £59.1 million as the firm said that it would ramp up store openings in China after seeing sales grow in the country. New Look said it would open 50 more Chinese stores, taking its total to 142.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: "These are good results during what has been a milestone year for the business. As for current trading, retailing in the UK is more challenging than it has been for some time, and we expect some impact on the business.
"However, whilst we remain watchful of volatility in consumer sentiment I am confident in our strategy and our ability to continue to execute it long term."
The results contrast with data showing that fashion retailers have borne the brunt of flagging consumer spending in recent months.
In March, Next chief executive Lord Wolfson warned that the retail sector is facing its toughest year since the financial crisis and Burberry reported a 10 per cent plunge in profits.
New Look also flagged its successful push into menswear with eight new store openings.
Brait acquired New Look for £763.5 million in May last year.