• Half-year adjusted pre-tax profits jump 40.6% to £39.5m
  • Sales rise 5.9% to £756m
  • Underlying operating profit up 10.9% to £94.8m
  • Statutory pre-tax loss of £53.7m due to acquisition and refinancing costs

Fashion retailer New Look has reported a healthy rise in half-year profits and sales, with its first standalone menswear stores performing strongly.

The global chain, which was acquired by South African investment group Brait in June, revealed today that group sales in the 26 weeks to September 26 climbed 5.9% to £756m.

Pre-tax profits – adjusted after costs of £93.2m relating to the Brait acquisition – jumped 40.6% to £39.5m. Underlying operating profit increased 10.9% to £94.8m.

As a result of the acquisition and refinancing costs, the retailer recorded a statutory pre-tax loss of £53.7m.

New Look’s chief executive Anders Kristiansen said he has been “delighted” by the performance of its first standalone men’s stores which opened this year.

New Look Menswear Wigan

New Look Menswear Wigan

New Look Menswear Wigan

He said there has also been a “positive” reaction to its autumn/winter collection.

Convenience “remains key” to New Look’s proposition, the retailer said, with 31% of online customers using click-and-collect.

In China, Kristiansen said its 52 stores “continue to perform well” with plans to have 85 shops open by next March.

On current group trading, he said the sector has “benefited from the return to more normalised weather conditions”, while New Look is confident heading into Christmas.

Kristiansen said it plans to increase investment in “strategic initiatives”, helped by Brait. The South African investment vehicle is 34% owned by billionaire Christo Wiese.