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Losses shrink at New Look

Losses narrowed at New Look in the third quarter, but its revenue was down on the previous year as the retailer continues to battle tough market conditions.

Its statutory loss before tax improved to £1.2m in the 39 weeks to 28 December, compared with a £63.2m loss in the same period the year before.

The retailer highlighted better stock control, improved speed to market and rebalancing its “trend” and “broad appeal” product as operational highlights.

However, total revenue for the period fell 10.8% year on year to to £830.1m, reflecting New Look’s smaller store portfolio and reduced markdowns.

Like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland declined by 7.1% due to ongoing consumer uncertainty and seasonal volatility.

New Look has made a number of senior appointments during recent months, including promoting chief operating officer Nigel Oddy to CEO and appointing Bonmarché’s Helen Connolly as chief commercial officer

Alistair McGeorge became non-executive chairman from executive chairman in the new year, while Clare Dobbie became chief customer officer.

Oddy said: “We have delivered a robust third quarter performance given the tough market conditions, as we maintained good control over our stock and costs, reduced markdown activity, and our stores outperformed our target market. Since moving from COO to CEO in January, my focus has been to accelerate our transformation plans and ensure we recover the broad appeal and good value cherished by our customers.

“This time last year the company lacked the financial stability needed to operate effectively and invest in the business. Now, with our strengthened liquidity position, we are able to make significant appointments to our leadership team and investments in our stores and omnichannel capabilities, which I am confident will increasingly bear fruit as we look ahead.”

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