New Look posted a gross profit of £805.9m for the year to March 29, as its turnaround gathers pace.
This is up on 2013’s total of £785.1m, with group-adjusted EBITDA up 5.8% to £200.2m. Cash flow has risen 42.3% to £143.2m.
Underlying operating profits rose 11.3% to £128.5m, while group sales climbed 3% to £1.53bn. UK like-for-likes also rose 3%, compared with a 0.5% decline in 2013. Group like-for-likes were up 2.2%, against a decline of 0.7%. Ecommerce rocketed 63.9%, up on the 45.8% increase last year.
The retailer opened five stores in China during the period. It has already opened five additional stores in the country this year, and plans to open a further 10 over the 2015 financial year. New Look said it was delivering against strategic goals of international expansion and multichannel growth.
It has made a statutory loss before tax of £55m, however, compared with a pre-tax profit of £3.1m last year. This is the result of a £64.2m impairment charge from writing down the value of its struggling French chain Mim.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “I am pleased with what the new team has achieved in its first year. It has been a year of real strategic development and I am delighted with the progress we have made.
“Our strategy is to focus on building and developing New Look in the UK, internationally and online, and on that basis we have taken the decision to explore strategic options for Mim, including potential divestment.”
Kristiansen added: “While remaining vigilant on costs, we will continue to invest in identified growth areas. I am confident New Look is going into the new financial year in a good position to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”