New Look boss Anders Kristiansen has ruled out launching an IPO in the next year as the retailer plots international expansion.
Despite the growing appetite for retail IPOs, New Look, which scrapped its float in 2010, is not considering it, according to Kristiansen.
He said: “I can’t see us doing an IPO in the next 12 months. At the moment we’re focusing on executing our strategy and getting out sleeves rolled up.”
Many retailers including House of Fraser, Bonmarche and Poundland are gearing up for a float.
New Look is to launch its first Chinese stores in spring next year. It has signed for six shopping mall stores and has 15 further stores in its pipeline in the Beijing and Shanghai area.
Kristiansen said it is focusing its overseas efforts on four key markets: Poland, Germany, Russia and China.
“All could be as big as the UK or even bigger. In the past we’ve been in small places like Azerbaijan. Now we’re putting our energy behind four big markets,” he said.
New Look is looking at acquiring its Polish franchise partner, which operates 10 stores, to accelerate its expansion there. Kristiansen said he expects the deal to be done in the next two months and it would look to double its number of stores there in the next year.
It is also eyeing a joint venture to grow its Russian estate, which stands at 21 stores.
Kristiansen said it is also vying to open stand-alone stores in Germany, where it operates from concessions, and is looking for store locations.
New Look will also launch its first local language websites overseas next year in France and Belgium. International accounts for just 7% of its online sales, however it makes up two thirds of New Look’s sales on Asos.
New Look revealed it swung into profit in its first half. It made a pre-tax of £13.8m in the 26 weeks to September 28 from a loss of £13.6m in the same period last year.
Group revenue jumped 6% to £753.2m, while UK sales rose 5% to £579.4m. Group like-for-likes increased 1.9% as UK like-for-likes grew 2.6%.