• H1 pre-tax profit jumps 89.1% to GBP26.1m
  • Underlying operating profit up 18.5%
  • Revenue increases 4.7% to GBP788.96m
New Look saw its online sales jump 36.4% in the first half

New Look saw its online sales jump 36.4% in the first half

UK value fashion retailer New Look Today (11 November) said it has pulled out of Russia and Ukraine due to political uncertainty, as it recorded an 89.1% jump in first-half profit.

The company, which is owned by private equity firms Primera and Apax Partners, said pre-tax profit reached GBP26.1m (US$41.4m) for the 26 weeks to 27 September, compared to GBP13.8m in the same period of last year.

Underlying operating profit increased 18.5% to GBP84m from GBP70.9m a year ago.

Revenue rose 4.7% to GBP788.96m from GBP753.2m. New Look brand like-for-like sales were up 6.9%. In the UK, sales grew 8.3% to GBP627.4m, while like-for-like sales increased 8%. Online sales jumped 36.4%, with its own website up 30.3%.

The retailer said its international expansion programme is progressing according to plan. With 14 stores trading in China, the group is on track to have 20 stores in the country by year end.

"We are very pleased with these results which show progress across all parts of the business," said CEO Anders Kristiansen.

He added that New Look's continued focus on international expansion will help it to reduce its exposure to the UK weather-related issues in the longer term.

"We are continuing to deliver on our strategic goals we outlined nearly two years ago, and we are well prepared for the Christmas trading period."

Conlumino analyst Anusha Couttigane added: "New Look’s performance over the past six months sits in stark contrast to many fashion retailers. Warm weather has been the pitfall for so many that it's refreshing to hear these positive results."