Tuesday 15 October 2019

New Look losses jump after heavy writedowns

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Holly Williams

Fashion chain New Look has slumped deeper into the red with losses of more than £500m (€558m) after hefty writedowns, and warned that trading remains "challenging".

The retailer reported pre-tax losses of £522.2m for the year to March 30, against losses of £190.2m the previous year, after writing off £402m of goodwill and brand value.

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But the group, which has been shutting stores under a major overhaul, saw sales falls narrow and reported an improved performance at the operating level, as it posted underlying profits of £33.2m against losses of £35.7m the previous year.

It reported core like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland down 1.6pc, against the previous year's 11.6pc tumble.

Total group-wide annual revenues fell 3.8pc to £1.2bn as it shut stores and focused on more profitable sales.

New Look executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said the group was making progress in its overhaul, but stressed there was "more work to do".

"While New Look enters the new financial year in a fundamentally healthier and stronger position, in many respects today marks the starting line," he said.

The group said it was ahead of plan with cost savings of more than £80m and was eyeing further efficiencies in the new financial year.

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