Debt-laden fashion retailer New Look has returned to profit, reporting full year pre-tax profits of £3.1m, compared with a loss of £55m in 2012.
A growth of 50% in online sales boosted the retailer, which ended the year with net debt of £1.1bn following a refinancing that extended maturities until 2018.
Chairman of New Look, Alistair McGeorge, said: “Our three-point turnaround plan of cost savings, margin improvement and revenue growth enabled us to deliver strong results and continue to re-invest in our business.”
“Our long term goal remains the same – to de-lever the business through profit growth and strong cash flow.”
Despite UK like-for-like sales decreasing 0.5%, New Look posted total group sales of £1.48bn, a 2.5% increase on the previous year.
The increase of online sales made up for falling sales in UK stores, with £94.1m generated online by March 2013.
Over the year the company closed 42 UK locations and expects the “economic outlook to remain challenging.”
New Look, which opened its first store in 1969, has over 1,100 stores worldwide and is planning further international expansions.
The company opened 50 new international stores by March 2013 and plans to open its first location in China by March 2014.
Anders Kristiansen, CEO, said the company is to explore “development opportunities of new markets in Eastern Europe and south-east Asia – specifically Russia and China.”