New Look is looking up

Style retailer New Look is in its 40th year and presented strong results for the 52 weeks to 27th March 2010, its revenue went up with 10.7% to £1,463.6m. The underlying operating profit increased with 17.7% to £163m and the Group’s

like-for-like sales growth went up with 1.2%, of which the UK like-for-like sales +5.0%. Following the market conditions in Ireland and France, the international like-for-like sales dropped with 12%.

The UK market share increased to 5.2% from 4.7 % (Source: Kantar Worldpanel Style), consolidating position as number two in UK with 61 store openings across the Group. This including 16 in the UK and taking the total up to 1,108 with a total trading footage of 5.5m sq ft. On a whole, New Look’s cash generation went up with 2.9% to £224m. For the future £100m will be reinvested in the business and an upgrade programme will be launched for existing stores. No refinancing requirements are set before 2015.

New Look is looking moved from fifth to third biggest UK on-line fashion retailer with 4.1% market share. The website operated across 24 markets at year-end and approaches two millions hits per week, with 1.3m orders taken last year.

The international presence of New Look extended from eight to 12 countries with store openings in the Netherlands, Egypt, Singapore and Poland. Actions are being taken to address challenging market conditions in Ireland and France. More than 1,900 new jobs created during the year, taking number of people employed by the Group to over 22,000.

On what's been behind New Look’s growth Carl McPhail, New Look Chief Executive, commented: “I think we sit as a business absolutely in that sweet spot of value and fashion and it’s what the consumer requires of us. Although trading has been very difficult, we’ve probably been in recession for two years now, New Look has got a unique brand positioning. A combination of absolutely value which we deliver for our consumer, but also fashion. We’ve got in-house design that delivers great fashion for our consumer and then newness. People want to see newness in the stores on a weekly basis. 10 percent of the products that we sell are new and on a six to eight week cycle we change all of the products in the stores."

Image: New Look


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