New Look’s solid online performance over Christmas helped boost its third-quarter profit despite sales being dented by last year’s warm autumn.

New Look

However, New Look like-for-like UK sales fell 1% in the quarter, it blamed the unseasonably warm weather towards the end of 2014, while revenue dropped 1.6% to £399.9m over the period ending December 27, 2014.

But the fashion retailer recorded a year-to-date like-for-like sales increase of 4.6% and third-quarter pre-tax profit hit £35.2m, up 28% on the previous year’s period.

Anders Kristiansen, chief executive officer, said he welcomed New Look’s robust performance against a challenging end to 2014. “Although October and November were affected by unseasonably warm weather, we grew market share in the period and our Christmas trading figures are testament to the quality of our product and the continued investment made in our multichannel offer, both in-store and online.”

Kristiansen said the retailer racked up record online sales over the Christmas period, but it was well prepared across all of its channels for Black Friday. Its year-to-date ecommerce sales have jumped 28.1%, while in its third quarter online sales rose 25%.

Kristiansen also pointed out that orders on mobile and tablet devices overtook desktop for the first time on Boxing Day 2014.

“Whilst our high street presence came into its own as we handled a surge in demand for our click-and-collect and order-in-store offerings,” he said.

“Operationally, we performed well. We were able to extend final delivery dates before Christmas and we dispatched 60% more orders across the three weeks over Christmas than last year. Despite the heavily promotional environment, we maintained the level of full-price sales on last year and grew gross profit margin.”

Kristiansen said New Look remains on target to have 20 stores in China by the end of its financial year, while further openings in France, Germany and Poland has left the company in good stead for overseas expansion.

New Look reports strong third-quarter profits despite fall in sales