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Business News

Hot spell gives New Look 'cracking start'


Fashion chain New Look rode the vagaries of the British weather better than some of its rivals, surviving the coldest spring for 50 years but having the right dresses and skirts on the rails when the summer finally arrived.

New chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “We had a really successful start to the year. April was unusually cold but, as things normalised, we achieved  like-for-like sales growth of 1% in the quarter to the end of June.”

Total sales rose 4.9% to £363 million while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by 13.1% to £50 million.

Online sales were particularly strong, rising by an impressive 78% to around 10% of UK sales but Kristiansen still believes there is plenty of room for further growth there.

Kristiansen said the second quarter had got off to a “cracking start”, not just with the expected sunshine boost to swimwear and accessories sales but also a big take-up of dresses and skirts, where New Look believes it has a strong edge.

Kristiansen confirmed there was no plan to revive New Look’s stock market flotation this year — it pulled its £1.7 billion float three years ago when conditions on the high street deteriorated sharply.

“We have extended our debt maturity to 2018 and the task now is about building a  solid business. We could be doing better,” Kristiansen said.