New Look has reported rising profits despite a dip in sales in its first quarter.
The retailer’s underlying profit rose 19% to £14.4m while adjusted EBITDA nudged up 1.5% to £27.6m, helped by cost savings.
However like-for-likes sank 4% despite weak comparables of -8.2% and revenue declined 2.7% to £329.4m.
The numbers were a marked comparison to New Look’s recent results. In its last full year, underlying operating losses reached £74.3m when sales slid 7.3% to £1.35bn.
New Look has had an abrupt change of strategy under executive chairman Alistair McGeorge, who is attempting to reverse its fortunes once again, having successfully revived it from 2011 to 2014. McGeorge returned to the business in autumn following the exit of then chief executive Anders Kristiansen, who had pursued a more fashion-forward, youth-oriented strategy.
McGeorge said: “As we recover the broad appeal of our product, we were pleased to improve our market performance and deliver better customer conversion rates. This shows the strength and resilience of our brand, and the positive impact of the changes we are making.
“Our turnaround plans continue, and we will deliver further operational efficiencies whilst maintaining our resolute focus on our core strengths and heartland customer to ensure we remain on the right track.”