New Look losses narrow despite dropping sales

New Look has managed to narrow its losses in its half-year results despite a drop in revenue in what was an “incredibly busy” year for the British fashion retailer.

In the six months to September 28, the company's statutory loss before tax narrowed by 30.7 million pounds to 11.2 million pounds compared with a loss of 41.9 million pounds in the same period last year.

Despite the narrowing losses, the company saw a drop in sales from 601.1 million pounds to 523.8 million pounds, while adjusted EBITDA was at 42.6 million pounds, down from 62.5 million pounds. Like-for-like sales in the UK and Republic of Ireland were down 7.4 percent, which the company said reflected “ongoing consumer uncertainty and seasonal volatility.”

In terms of operational changes, the retailer has focused on its product offering, with ‘core’ and ‘broad appeal’ clothing categories representing 98 percent of its autumn/winter product mix compared to 75 percent ‘trend’ and ‘fashion’ last year, while it has reduced options by 25 percent in-store and 32 percent online in a bid to “enhance customer experience.”

Focus on product offering

Chief operating officer Nigel Oddy described the first half as “incredibly busy” for the retailer, as it focused on “strengthening the operational foundations of the business.” He said: “We have reviewed our entire product range, improved our lead times, enhanced the customer journey, revitalised the company’s values, and have begun to make the necessary changes to our leadership.

“As we continue to recover the broad appeal of our product, our offer is now much improved as we focus on buying into successful trends quickly. Importantly, we have started to invest in our leadership team and I am delighted that David Wertheim joined us in October.

“New Look’s localness – the breadth of our estate and the convenient locations of our stores – is a key differentiator that we will continue to capitalise on, and I am pleased that we are delivering record levels of Click and Collect orders in our stores.

“Following a tough first quarter, we delivered positive like-for-like sales throughout July and August, but September was impacted by the unseasonably warm weather, which affected the sector in general. Despite this, we kept good control of our cost base, and all is to play for as we enter peak trading.”

Photo credit: New Look, Facebook


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