Online Christmas sales rescue New Look's third quarter

Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:43am EST

LONDON Feb 11 (Reuters) - British fashion retailer New Look said strong online sales over Christmas had helped it to rescue an otherwise difficult third quarter, as it posted flat earnings in the three months to the end of December.

The group, owned by private equity firms Apax and Permira, and founder Tom Singh, said the strong online sales had helped the group recover from the unseasonably warm weather which marked the start of the three month period, and fierce discounting on the high street at the end.

In the 13 weeks to the end of December, adjusted core earnings were flat at 83.3 million pounds, and up 9.9 percent over the nine month period. Third quarter revenue was up 5 percent, with online sales up over 50 percent.

New Look, which opened its first store in Britain in 1969, said it was now optimistic about the year ahead, and was on track to open its first stores in Shanghai and Beijing in Spring 2014. It currently trades from 1,104 stores worldwide.

"We are pleased with our performance in a difficult quarter," Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen said.

"Growth was once more driven by a particularly strong E-commerce performance - both from our own site and from third parties - and our New Look International business turned in a commendable performance, up 7.2 percent in the period."