Women's fashion chain New Look on Tuesday posted a 65.5 per cent surge in first half pre-tax profit to £44.9 million from £27.3m in the year-ago period on the back on strong sales and said that trend was continuing into the second half. The operator of about 500 stores said its profit jump was in line with forecasts with sales up 14 per cent to £315m and UK same-store sales up 8.7 per cent in the six months to September 28, and 11.4 per cent in the first eight weeks after that date.