Credit: New Look

New Look could be set for a stock market return

The clothing chain's chief said it was ready to go public after fairly strong results.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 10 Feb 2015

After pulling a planned listing back in 2010, the British fashion retailer New Look could be planning to once again hop onto the stock market. Its chief executive, Anders Kristiansen, said that if the conditions were right then the business would be prepared for an IPO.

‘We've demonstrated that in tough periods we continue to perform well so think this business is ready,’ he said today when asked about potential plans for a float. But he said this would depend on the business's private equity owners - Apax, which declined to comment, and Permira, which had not got back to MT at the time of publishing.

Kristiansen’s comments came as the business published its third quarter results, which carried mixed news. The warm autumn meant sales were down 1.6% to £399.9m, and adjusted EBITDA fell 2.7% to £78.9m, but revenue over the last three quarters was up 2.9% to £1.1bn and operating profit increased a respectable 6.7% to £149.3m.

‘This is a robust performance against a challenging backdrop,’ Kristiansen added.  ‘Although October and November were affected by unseasonably warm weather, we grew market share in the period and our Christmas trading figures are testament to the quality of our product and the continued investment made in our multichannel offer, both in-store and online.’

New Look has a major international presence, with more than 200 overseas stores in 20 countries. It had to pull out of Ukraine and Russia in November due to political turmoil but said its overseas expansion was 'firmly on track' with plans for more shops in China, Germany, France and Poland this year.

It's thought New Look's owners have been itching for a return to public markets since pulling plans for IPO back in 2010. If Apax and Permira agree with Kristiansen that conditions are right then it's likely they will look to offload the business as soon as they get the chance.

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