British fashion chain New Look has posted a pre-tax loss for the year as its struggling French business ruined its end-of-year figures.
The company made a pre-tax loss of £55m for the 52 weeks ended 29 March 2014 as it made a non-cash impairment charge of £64.2m to write down the value of its French Mim unit which it may now sell. EBITDA rose 5.8 per cent to £200.2m while gross profit was £805.9m- up from 2013‘s figure of £785.1m.
New Look, which trades from 576 UK stores and over 1,100 globally, saw its group sales rebound by 3 per cent to £1.52bn and its UK like-for-likes also rose 3 per cent.
Anders Kristiansen, New Look‘s CEO, said the company‘s decision to build scale in “four key geographies” China, Poland, Russia and Germany, would prove key to its future.
“We‘ve made great progress against our strategic objectives during FY14, and delivered on what we set out to achieve in the year. While remaining vigilant on costs, we will continue to invest in identified growth areas,” he said. “I am confident that New Look is going into the new financial year in a good position to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
New Look, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, also revealed it had struck deals to sell its products with Asos, Zalando and Zalora.
Kristiansen was keen to trumpet the progress the company has made with multi-channel and said over one in four New Look online shoppers now use click and collect. 2.7m customers visit newlook.com every week as improvements to its app and website drove an e-commerce sales surge of 63.9 per cent.