• H1 profit climbs 40.6% to GBP39.5m (US$59.6m)
  • Sales grow 5.9% to GBP756m
  • UK like-for-like sales climb 4.7%

UK value fashion retailer New Look has offered an optimistic outlook for the year and said it plans to expand further in China as it revealed higher first-half earnings and sales. 

Pre-tax profit for the six months ended 26 September, and adjusted for one-off costs, reached GBP39.5m (US$59.6m), an increase of 40.6% on the prior year. Earnings were adjusted to take account of non-recurring costs of GBP93.2m related to the Brait acquisition and refinancing.

South African investment firm Brait acquired a 90% stake in New Look for GBP780m in June, valuing the UK value fashion retailer at GBP1.9bn. The founding Singh family and the current management of the company acquired the remaining 10%.

Sales in the period grew 5.9% to GBP756m from GBP713.6m a year earlier, while New Look Brand like-for-like sales were up 4.9%.

UK like-for-like sales climbed 4.7%, while own website sales jumped 37.9% and third party e-commerce sales grew 47.2%. 

CEO Anders Kristiansen said the results show the strength of the New Look offer and the strategic progress it has made in its product, stores and website.

He added: “Our Chinese stores continue to perform well as customers continue to react favourably to our fashion-forward offer. We remain on target to have 85 stores open in the country by year end.

“With the support of our new owners, Brait, we are planning to increase investment in our strategic initiatives to accelerate our growth.”

Referring to current trading, Kristiansen said the sector has benefiting from the return to more normalised weather conditions 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.”