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New Look sees profits slump by 40%

Fashion retailer New Look has reported that its underlying operating profit for the year to March was £98 million, down from £162.7 million in the previous year.

CITY & CORPORATE

New Look sees profits slump by 40%

Fashion retailer New Look has reported that its underlying operating profit for the year to March was £98 million, down from £162.7 million in the previous year.

The private equity-owned company said sales at UK stores open at least a year dropped 7.1% in the second half of the year following a 4.5% fall in the first half. International stores posted better results with sales on the same basis up 0.5%, compared with a 2.4% increase in the first half of the year.

Executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said: "Clearly these are disappointing results, reflecting a business that was suffering significant internal disruption against the backdrop of a harsh and deteriorating consumer economy." 

He was referring in part to the operational problems the company experienced when it relocated its buying, merchandise and design teams.

McGeorge continued: "Additionally, we allowed our price architecture to drift upwards, which undermined our competitiveness and relative value positioning in the marketplace."

New Look appointed McGeorge, the former Matalan chief executive, as executive chairman following chief executive Carl McPhail’s departure in March. 

The company said it was focusing on delivering with greater consistency, what its customers expected – "great fashion at great prices”. McGeorge added: "This is a business with a strong brand and fantastic people and we are confident that we have put in place the right first steps to ensure New Look is returned to sustainable growth.”

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