• FY pre-tax profit up 16.8% to GBP59.1m (US$86.3m)
  • Group revenues grow 5.4% to GBP1.49bn
  • UK like-for-like sales climb 3.4%
New Look has cautioned on the year ahead

New Look has cautioned on the year ahead

UK fashion retailer New Look has delivered higher earnings and sales in its last fiscal year but offered a cautious outlook for a "challenging" year ahead.

Profit before tax was up 16.8% in the 12 months ended 26 March to GBP59.1m (US$86.3m) from GBP50.6m a year earlier. However, including non-recurring exceptional transaction costs of GBP94m relating to its Brait acquisition and bond refinancing, the company made a statutory loss before tax of GBP34.9m.

Group revenues grew 5.4% to GBP1.49bn from GBP1.41bn in the year-ago period, while UK like-for-like sales increased 3.4% thanks to the success of the group's multinational proposition. 

New Look brand like-for-like sales climbed 3.6% for the year, while own website sales were up 27.9%. Third party e-commerce sales jumped 41.8%.

"These are good results during what has been a milestone year for the business," said CEO Anders Kristiansen. "With the support of our new owners Brait, we have made continued progress against our strategic initiatives as we develop New Look into a truly global brand."

However, he cautioned: "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."

Nivindya Sharma, senior analyst at Verdict Retail, noted that New Look has rightly focused on becoming more competent across its multichannel operations to become top of mind for its young millennial customer base. "Order in store now accounts for 8% of online orders, and New Look's push to build greater awareness of this option will go some way to limit customer attrition to rivals Primark and H&M. It has also capitalised effectively on its extensive store portfolio with 31% of all online orders now picked up in-store, driving footfall and giving New Look an opportunity to cross-sell and drive impulse purchases."

In March, New Look appointed Emma Worley as director for buying, merchandising and design. 

New Look appoints Worley to head of buying