New Look sees sharp decline in sales
New Look has reported an 8.4% decline in first half group like-for-like sales after experiencing challenging trading conditions in both its first and second quarters. UK like-for-like sales fell by 8.8%.
In the six months to 26 September, revenue fell by 5% to £718.1 million. The company narrowed its pre-tax losses to £0.9 million in the period from a loss of £53.7 million in the previous year. Underlying operating profit fell by 37.4% to £59.3 million.
Anders Kristiansen, New Look chief executive, said: “Following a tough Q1, trading conditions have remained extremely challenging through Q2. Whilst sales have been affected by external factors such as falling consumer confidence, we have held our gross margin stable in the quarter and seen good revenue growth online and internationally. We remain confident in our long term strategy and continue to make good progress against our strategic initiatives.”
The company said recent macro events had highlighted the importance of its international strategy and the need for an agile and diversified proposition which keeps pace with trends driven by social media. As it moves towards reaching the milestone of 100 stores in China, the company will continue to focus on its multichannel approach in its key international markets of China, France, Poland and Germany.
Looking ahead, Kristiansen said: “Despite the challenges in the first half, we are excited and well-prepared for our peak trading period to come in Q3. We have increased our out-of-home marketing across key markets to improve ‘top of mind’ brand awareness, alongside an impactful Christmas window scheme.”
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