New Look reports operating loss of £74.3m

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New Look full year

New Look’s dire financial situation has been laid bare in its latest annual report, where it recorded a sharp fall in sales and a swing to loss.

For the full year period ending March 24, New Look booked an underlying operating loss of £74.3 million compared to last year’s profit of £97.6 million, which was also down from £174.7 million the year prior.

Meanwhile, New Look’s UK sales plunged 11.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis, and website sales plummeted 19 per cent.

However, third party ecommerce sales fared better with a 15.5 per cent uptick in sales, although New Look brand like-for-like sales still tumbled 11.4 per cent.

As a result, New Look’s group-wide revenue fell 7.3 per cent to £1.34 billion for the year.

On the other hand, adjusted EBITDA came in at a loss of £10.7 million, although the retailer said this included a £34.2 million bill incurred from one-off costs.

The full-year results come after a tumultuous year for the fashion chain, which climaxed when it launched a CVA in March.

New Look, which is closing stores and cutting jobs as part of its CVA, said it has made “significant progress” on its CVA proceedings and that this would be reflected in next year’s results.

“Last year was undoubtedly very difficult for New Look, with a well-documented combination of external and self-inflicted issues impacting our performance,” executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said.

“Since November, we have focused on making the necessary changes to get the company back on track and reconnect with our customers.

“Our turnaround plan is now well underway, and we have already made substantial operational improvements to help stabilise the business, reduce our fixed cost base and put us in a better position to drive future full price sales.

“We have started the new financial year with a much cleaner stock position and are now seeing green shoots emerge.

“We still have more work to do to restore long-term profitability, but I am confident we are now better placed to achieve this than we were when I returned to the business over six months ago.

“Trading conditions will remain tough in the year ahead, but further operational efficiencies and a resolute focus on our core strengths and heartland customer will help to ensure we remain on the right track.”

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