New Look, the value fashion group which is considering an IPO this year, has reported a strong Christmas performance.

UK like-for-like sales climbed 5.9% in the 14 weeks to January 2, when total turnover, including overseas, rose 14.4%.

The retailer said it had maintained margins and taken share in core categories, becoming the UK’s second biggest force by value in “total womenswear” including clothing, accessories and footwear, in which it has a 5.6% share. It also claimed a 3.4% online fashion market share.

New Look chief executive Carl McPhail said: “We have had another successful Christmas, growing sales and profitability in the face of difficult market conditions.

“Our business has undergone significant transformation in recent years to become today a leading fashion retailer with a great brand.

“Looking ahead, while we remain cautious about consumer spending and expect sentiment to remain subdued, we are well placed to continue growth and build, upon our success.”

New Look, backed by private equity firms Apax and Permira, is understood to be considering a £1.7bn IPO.

Last month JP Morgan Cazenove, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse were appointed to advise and former Tesco director John Gildersleeve was named chairman.