New Look "well prepared" for Christmas trading
High street retailer New Look has said it is "well prepared" for Christmas trading after reporting multimillion-pound growth in revenue and pre-tax profit during the first half of its financial year. But the company has pulled out of Russia and Ukraine citing "political uncertainty".
In the 26-week period to 27 September 2014, pre-tax profit reached £26.1m on sales of £788.6m, compared with £13.8m and £753.2m a year ago.
But the Weymouth-headquartered group said it remained "cautious" about its outlook due to unseasonably warm weather in September and October.
"We are very pleased with these results which show progress across all parts of the business," said chief executive Anders Kristiansen.
"There has been a great deal of commentary about the warm weather affecting UK high street sales and we are no different. Our continued focus on international expansion will help us to reduce our exposure to the UK weather in the longer term."
The group added that it has increased its international presence but has exited Russia and Ukraine.
Kristiansen added: "We have increased our presence in China, both in store and online, expanded our Polish business, launched French and German versions of our website and continued to make improvements to our online user experience.
"We are continuing to deliver on our strategic goals we outlined nearly two years ago, and we are well prepared for the Christmas trading period."
The results included the performance of French brand Mim, which caused pre-tax losses of £55m during the group's previous financial year. New Look said the turnaround of the business was "going well" and that it expects to complete the sale of Mim before its year-end in March.
Excluding Mim's results, New Look revenues increased to £713.6m from £675.5m, with pre-tax profit rising to £86.5m from £78.2m.