An unusually warm October and November have pushed British fashion retailer New Look's turnover down, but its (online) holiday sales were a big hit and CEO Kristiansen believes his group is ready for an IPO.
Slightly lower turnover, profit up 28 %
New Look's turnover dropped 1.6 % in its third quarter, down to 400 million pounds (540 million euro), but its like-for-like sales drop was "merely" 1.7 % as New Look pulled out of Russia and Ukraine in November because of the unstable political situation. It has also sold off its ailing French subsidiary Mim.
"Despite the unusually warm weather in October and November, our third quarter market share still grew", CEO Anders Kristiansen said. The growth was mainly achieved online, up 32 % during the holiday season. Meanwhile, despite slightly lower sales, its profit went up considerably because of full sales "despite heavy promotional spending". The EBITDA was up 28 % to 35.2 million pounds, nearly 47.5 million euro.
"Ready for IPO"
New Look is still preparing its expansion as it wants twenty Chinese stores by the end of the year, adding another four over the past quarter, and another fifty by the end of next year. Its French, German and Polish expansions are also going according to plan.
CEO Anders Kristiansen concludes New Look is "ready for an IPO", although he added the current stock exchange climate is not ready for it. "Maybe later, but these things are difficult to predict." At this moment, investment funds Apax and Permira control New Look, having bought the company 11 years ago. A previous IPO, near the end of 2010, was cancelled at the last minute.