New Look continues to suffer financially in “challenging” third quarter

New Look update

New Look has continued its run of poor financial results with further loss and another plunge in sales in most revenue streams.

In its third quarter update released this morning, which detailed the embattled retailer’s year-to-date performance for the 39 weeks to December 23, overall group revenue dropped 6.3 per cent to £1.07 billion while group like-for-likes plummeted 10.6 per cent.

The results were impacted by a poor performance in the UK, where like-for-like sales took a sharp drop of 10.7 per cent, and own website sales, which plunged 15 per cent.

However, New Look’s third party ecommerce sales increased dramatically by 21.9 per cent.

At the end of the 39 week period, New Look recorded an adjusted EBITDA of £43.8 million, while underlying operating loss came in at £5.1 million and loss before tax was £123.5 million.

New Look chairman Alistair McGeorge said the third quarter trading “remained challenging” and sales and margins were adversely impacted by high levels of discounts.

Despite this, he said the retailer was taking the “necessary actions” to rebuild its position within the UK market and restore long-term profitability.

“Our immediate priority is to exit the current financial year without excess stock,” he said.

“By entering FY19 with clean stock levels we will be in a good position to deliver a strong full price spring/summer offer.

“I am confident that we are now making the necessary changes to get the company back on track and we continue to have sufficient liquidity to deliver our plans.

“In particular, we are focusing on reducing costs, recovering the broad appeal of our  product and reconnecting with our customers.

“We are already realigning our pricing to offer significantly better value, adding flexibility to our buying model, and improving our speed to market.

“Additionally, we are working hard to achieve a better alignment between ecommerce and stores.

“Taken together, this will help to drive future full price sales.”

The trading update comes as New Look’s bond prices and credit rating took a battering over January amid reports it was considering a company voluntary agreement (CVA) to salvage and restructure its business.

The retailer is also reportedly looking to reducing its physical store portfolio, with the closure of 60 UK stores.

In late 2017 New Look’s parent company Brait wrote down the retailer’s value to zero.

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