New Look says first-quarter results exceed expectations

LONDON Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:51am EDT

LONDON Aug 12 (Reuters) - British fashion retailer New Look said first-quarter sales and earnings exceeded its own expectations after it hit key trends and said it had also made a good start to its second quarter, helped by warm weather.

The firm, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, also said on Tuesday it had received an indicative offer for its loss-making French unit Mim, though it did not name the suitor.

New Look had said in June it could sell Mim as France is not a country it plans to focus on.

The group said revenue rose 8.1 percent to 392.5 million pounds ($658 million) in the 13 weeks to June 28, with sales at stores open over a year up 8.9 percent. UK like-for-like sales rose 11.6 percent, while e-commerce sales jumped 39.2 percent.

New Look said underlying earnings rose 18.8 percent to 59.4 million pounds.

"These are terrific results which have exceeded our expectations, driven by the fact that we hit key trends effectively, as well as strong execution in managing our core UK and online operations," said Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen.

"We have had a pleasing start to the second quarter," he added, noting the benefit of good weather.

The CEO said the group was well placed for the year ahead, though he did caution that the second quarter faces tougher comparative numbers versus the prior year. ($1 = 0.5966 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)