New Look taps into summer trends to help lift sales by 9pc
Fashion retailer New Look has received an offer for its loss-making French unit Mim and is confident a deal will be struck.
The firm, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, said its first-quarter sales and earnings exceeded its own expectations as it tapped into key summer fashion trends, including selling 40,000 Kimonos a week, as well as printed trousers and running shorts.
Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen declined to name the suitor for the Mim business, which has over 350 stores, but said it was an Asian group that already operates in Europe, though not in retail.
"We're making good progress. I think it will happen," he said, declining to say what the non-binding offer is worth.
New Look is up against Primark and Next in the fiercely competitive fashion retail market. It had said in June it could sell Mim as France is not a country it plans to focus on.
Its strategy is to focus on building and developing the New Look brand in Britain, online and internationally in four countries: China, Poland, Russia and Germany.
The group said revenue rose 8.1pc to £392.5m (€494m) in the 13 weeks to June 28, with sales at stores open over a year up 8.9pc. E-commerce sales jumped 39.2 percent.
New Look said underlying earnings rose 18.8pc to £59.4m (€75m).
Mr Kristiansen said the company was well placed for the year ahead, though he did caution that the second quarter faces tougher comparative numbers versus the year before.