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New Look full-year profits back in the black

New Look has reported a return to operating profit in its full-year results as its turnaround plans begin to bear fruit. 

The retailer announced underlying operating profits of £33.2m for the full year to 30 March, reversing a loss of £35.7m the previous year.

Revenue slipped by 3.8% to £1.2bn, which New Look said was in-line with expectations as it focuses on driving sales and operates fewer stores. Like-for-like sales were down 1.6%, compared to a decline of 11.6% the previous year.

EBITDA increased to £80.2m, up from £18m in 2018.

The retailer said it has been focusing on “broad appeal product and value-led pricing” and has seen particular improvement in the profitability of key womenswear categories, including dresses, separates and its going out range. Footwear and accessories remain “challenging.”

Alistair McGeorge, executive chairman, said: “We have achieved a remarkable amount over the past year, delivering on our aim to achieve financial and operational stability. Firstly, we have made progress in recovering the broad appeal of our product and have delivered year-on-year improvements in profitability across key areas. Our ecommerce and store businesses are now working together better than ever, and we are starting to see the benefits of improved speed to market.

“Secondly, we have exceeded our cost saving plans, addressed our previously over-rented UK store estate, completed the review of our international businesses, and delivered further operational efficiencies across the business.”

New Look founder and non-executive director Tom Singh is due to retire from the business at the end of this month.

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