Fashion retailer New Look has reported a rocket in its first-quarter profits as group like-for-likes edged up.

New Look said EBITDA rose 13.1% in the quarter to June 29 while group like-for-likes rose 0.3%.

Group sales increased 4.9% in the period, helped by online sales which surged 78.7%. Like-for-like sales under the New Look brand rose 1%.

The retailer said momentum had carried through to the second quarter as it had taken advantage of the good weather to sell a higher proportion of full-price products and a reduced number of markdowns.

New Look said: “Looking ahead, we remain cautious on the outlook for consumer spending, but are confident in our ability to continue to make progress as a result of our excellent ranges, our ongoing store transformation programme and our continued growth in ecommerce.”

New Look chief executive Anders Kristiansen said:  “We are very encouraged by New Look’s robust trading performance in the period, in spite of the coldest spring for 50 years.

“Our disciplined attitude to cost and stock management has enabled us to make further strong progress in a difficult and volatile trading environment. We are confident that the improvement to our ranges, the refurbishment of our stores and our growing online strength will underpin further progress.”

Meanwhile, private equity investor SVG, which has a 27% holding in New Look, yesterday upped the value of its stake, which two years ago it wrote down to zero. It has revalued the stake at £10 million.

SVG chief executive Lynn Fordham said: “Despite the tough economic environment and pretty extreme weather conditions, New Look’s earnings improved strongly last year mainly through cost-cutting and better margins thanks to fewer sales markdowns.”

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