High street fashion retailer New Look has blamed pricing mistakes and low consumer spending for its fall in sales and profits reported in full-year results today.
Total sales were down 0.2 per cent to £1.46 billion in the 52 weeks ending March 26th 2011, whilst like-for-like sales declined 5.5 per cent year-on-year.
Group adjusted EBITDA and underlying profit both fell around £60 million compared to last year, totalling £249.4 million and £162.7 million respectively.
Alistair McGeorge, Executive Chairman of New Look, said: “Clearly these are disappointing results, reflecting a business that was suffering significant internal disruption against the backdrop of a harsh and deteriorating consumer economy.
“Additionally, we allowed our price architecture to drift upwards, which undermined our competitiveness and relative value positioning in the marketplace.”
McGeorge, former boss of value fashion retailer Matalan, was appointed to lead New Look in April after former CEO Carl McPhail and former Non-Executive Chairman John Gildersleeve left the company the previous month.
New Look is attempting to boost trade through a ‘Look and Feel’ store upgrade and refurbishment programme, and has completed work in 331 of its 1,051 outlets worldwide.
In good news for the company international sales grew 0.5 per cent over the 12-month period and newlook.com is now the second most visited UK women’s clothing website with a market share of four per cent.
A strategic review is currently being undertaken by the retailer to restore ‘product and value architecture’.
McGeorge added: “New Look is now going through a transition to ensure we are firmly focused on delivering, with greater consistency, what our customers expect – great fashion at great prices.
“This is a business with a strong brand and fantastic people and we are confident that we have put in place the right first steps to ensure New Look is returned to sustainable growth.”