New Look sales growth, thanks to menswear and online

New Look has posted an increase in first-half sales on the back of online growth and the launch of its first dedicated menswear stores.

Revenue increased to £756m, up from £713.6m in the same period of last year.

It incurred exceptional transaction costs of £93.2m relating to its acquisition by Brait earlier this year and refinancing, resulting in a statutory loss before tax of £53.7m.

Excluding these one-off costs, profit before tax reached £39.5m from £28.1m in the same period last year.

Like-for-like New Look brand sales rose by 4.9%, with UK like-for-like sales up 4.7%.
Sales through its own website rose by 37.9%, while sales through third-parties rose 47.2%.

It ended the period with 52 stores in China, with leases signed to increase this to 85 by March 2016.

Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “Against an unpredictable consumer backdrop we are especially pleased to have seen further Q2 sales improvement and market share growth, on what were already strong Q1 figures.With the support of our new owners Brait we are planning to increase investment in our strategic initiatives to accelerate our growth.”

He added that the sector has benefitted from more normalised weather compared to last year. “We continue to manage the business prudently but the positive reaction to our current product offer gives us confidence as we head into Christmas,” he said.

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