New Look swings to loss amid torrid trading on the high street
The fashion chain has been shutting stores and slashing jobs.
Fashion chain New Look has swung to a full-year loss amid plunging sales on the high street and online.
The retailer reported an operating loss of £74.3 million for the year to March 24, having made £97.6 million profit in the previous year.
New Look’s sales in the UK fell by 11.7% on a like-for-like basis, accelerating from a decline of 6.8% the year before. Website sales slumped by 19.2%.
Total revenue was £1.34 billion, down from £1.45 billion year on year.
The business was hit with a £34.2 million one-off cost, which included an exceptional charge from stock clearances.
Alistair McGeorge, New Look’s executive chairman, said: “Last year was undoubtedly very difficult for New Look, with a well-documented combination of external and self-inflicted issues impacting our performance.
“Trading conditions will remain tough in the year ahead, but further operational efficiencies and a resolute focus on our core strengths and heartland customer will help to ensure we remain on the right track.”
New Look launched a restructuring plan in March, announcing that it would shut 60 stores as part of a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), affecting 980 jobs.
The company said on Tuesday that the CVA would allow the business to save £40 million.
The poor trading news from New Look comes after House of Fraser proposed a CVA, saying it intended to shut 31 stores, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.
Mothercare and Carpetright have also undertaken CVAs so far this year in a bid to save on costs.
Torrid trading on the high street has triggered a swathe of retail failures, with Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundworld all entering administration.