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New Look confirms menswear stores as profits rise

New Look has reported a 9% increase in profit before tax to £19.3m for the 13 weeks to June 27, as the young fashion retailer confirms it will open five standalone menswear stores this year.

Revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% to £369.8m, while UK like-for-like sales increased 4.1%. New Look brand like-for-like sales were also up 4.1%.

The retailer increased its full year EBITDA by 2% to £61.1m as underlying operating profit was up 6.8% to £47.3m for the three month period.

As previously reported by Drapers, New Look will open its first menswear only stores later this year as it seeks to further grow its market share in the menswear industry.

The first stores are understood to be in Portsmouth, Wigan and the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

The retailer said the “success of its menswear product ranges and store concept” in its Oxford Circus flagship spurred on the move.

Chief creative officer Roger Wightman said: “Menswear is a key strategic priority for New Look, and the opening of menswear standalone stores represents a natural next step for us. We are very proud of the improvements made to our offer over the past two years - the opening of menswear standalone stores will allow us to more fully showcase the enhanced quality of our product ranges. Our new menswear director, Christopher Englinde, joins us from H&M in September, and as a business we are very excited about the prospects of future growth.”

Online sales at New Look rocketed during the period, up 38.7% on its own website and up 27% on third party sites. Mobile traffic was up 97% during the quarter and now accounts for 50% of all online sales.

The retailer’s expansion in China is also on track with 39 stores now open and a further 40 signed up for the full financial year.

Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “These strong results demonstrate New Look’s ongoing progress during a quarter in which we have changed ownership and refinanced the business. Further UK sales growth is particularly encouraging, whilst our latest successful store openings in China ensure our expansion plans continue on track. Whilst the consumer environment remains unpredictable, we continue to manage the business accordingly.”

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