New Look said profits and like-for-likes fell in the run-up to the EU referendum “with unfavourable market conditions impacting high street footfall”.
Adjusted EBITDA was down 29% to £43.4m in the 13 weeks to June 25 while profit before tax climbed to £2.7m, up on a year-on-year basis due to a £73.7m loss in the previous year’s quarter.
However that loss was due to “non-recurring exceptional transaction costs of £93m relating to the Brait acquisition and bond refinancing”, meaning that without that one-off cost, profit would have stood at more than £20m for last year.
This quarter, like-for-likes also fell. UK like-for-likes decreased by 7% while New Look brand sales fell 6.6%.
In contrast, third-party ecommerce sales were up 28.7% and website sales climbed 9%. Menswear sales rose 21%.
Overall, sales fell 4.2% to £354.2m.
Chief executive Anders Kristiansen said: “We continued to manage the business for longterm growth in what was a tough quarter, with unfavourable market conditions impacting high-street footfall. Nonetheless, we remain confident in our proven strategy, and we delivered a strong cash position with inventories held tight.”
He added that New Look continued to invest in its strategic initiatives. It launched on JD.com in China and opened nine new stores in the country, taking it to 94 in total.