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New Look posts 3.3% dip in like-for-like sales
23
Nov '12
New Look Retail Group Limited announces Interim Results for the 26 weeks ended 22 September.

Interim Results Financial Headlines

  • H1 EBITDA: £86.9m (H1 2011/12: £69.4m): +25.2%
  • H1 Group Sales: £710.5m (H1 2011/12: £723.1m): -1.7%
    • Group like-for-like sales (ex VAT): -3.3%
    • UK like-for-like sales (ex VAT): -3.1%
  • Significant gross margin improvement through reduction of markdown and discount sales
  • Successfully amended Senior debt maturities via amend and extend to April 2015  
  • Cash: £215.4m (March 2011/12: £212.3m) after £73.8m repayment of debt

Operational And Development Overview

  • First phase of recovery plan to reduce operating cost successfully achieved  with further to come in FY14
  • Second phase of recovery plan to improve margin is delivering strong results
  • Now in third phase of recovery plan to drive sales  
  • Accelerated store refit programme and successful refit of 26 stores in the period, with at least 120 more in the pipeline for this financial year
  • Strong improvement in the performance of our International business  
  • Multi-channel proposition continued to rapidly grow and improve with an online presence in over 121 countries.  

Alistair McGeorge, Chairman, said: “These results reflect the significant progress we have made and the positive steps we have taken in our recovery plan, in spite of the continuing tough trading conditions on the High Street.  

“Our strategy to remove costs and drive margin improvement, which we have done by tightly managing stock levels and reducing markdowns, has successfully driven a 25% increase in H1 EBITDA. We will continue to focus on improving our EBITDA performance as we continue to migrate to a much stronger mix of full price sales and fewer sales events. The next stage of our recovery should see sales growth return based on the product improvements being made and the better presentation of product in store.

“Whilst we remain cautious about the economic outlook for the remainder of the financial year  and the continuing squeeze on customers disposable income, we are confident that the actions we’ve taken to address our product, brand, stores and costs will continue to build on the growing momentum of our trading performance. In particular, current sales performance is now showing year on year growth. Our long-term goal is sustainable growth and our mission remains the same as it has ever been: to deliver exciting, authoritative, appealing fashion, at the right price every time, and across whichever channel is most convenient to our customers.”

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