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New Look full-year sales plummet, but recovery underway

By Huw Hughes

3 Aug 2021

Fashion

Image: FashionUnited

New Look has reported a steep drop in full-year revenue after the high street retailer was hit hard by store closures during the pandemic, but its sales have rebounded strongly in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Revenue for the year to March 27 dropped 40 percent to 542.2 million pounds, compared to 912.8 million pounds a year earlier. That drop was slightly offset by strong growth in online sales, which surged by 69 percent during the year.

Commenting on the drop in sales, CEO Nigel Oddy said the results were “clearly not reflective of the health of the business as it stands here today”, which he said is in a “fundamentally stronger position” following its successful recapitalisation and CVA launched last year.

The company swung to a statutory profit before tax of 108 million pounds compared to a loss before tax of 430.7 million pounds a year earlier, while adjusted EBITDA was 4.3 million pounds, down from 132.2 million pounds a year earlier.

The company managed to slash its net debt to 72.3 million pounds from 443 million pounds a year earlier.

New Look sales rebound in current quarter

In the 13 weeks to June 26, New Look saw revenue jump 181.7 percent to 194.4 million pounds compared to a year ago, while adjusted EBITDA was 15 million pounds, compared to a loss of 16 million pounds in the prior-year period.

The company said an improvement in conversion and reduced markdown activity “underline strong product performance as customers continue to re-engage with the brand across all channels”.

“Looking ahead, structural changes in the market have accelerated as a result of the pandemic and there is no doubt the retail landscape has been permanently transformed,” Oddy said.

“New Look has an excellent opportunity to capitalise on, and the combination of a cohesive omnichannel model, conveniently located stores, and feel-good fashion at great prices will put us in a strong position to deliver long-term and sustainable growth.”