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Boss of New Look fashion chain warns of tough trading

By Holly Williams

Fashion chain New Look, which has around 20 stores in Northern Ireland, has joined rivals in warning about gloomy high street trading after posting a slump in annual sales and earnings.

The retailer saw underlying operating profits fall 41.1% to £97.6m in the year to March 25 after UK like-for-like sales dropped 6.8%.

Chief executive Anders Kristiansen cautioned there would be no let-up in the tough trading, while the retail sector would be "more competitive than ever".

He said: "We expect trading conditions for the coming year to remain challenging."

On a bottom line basis, New Look remained in the red but narrowed pre-tax losses to £16.6m from £34.9m the previous year. New Look's cautious outlook comes after fellow fashion retailers Next and Marks & Spencer also sounded the alarm over tough trading following heavy sales slides, blamed on shaky consumer confidence.

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