New Look dresses up for 18% profit hike

FASHION chain New Look expects to create a further 1,500 jobs this year after it defied the high street downturn to secure a near 18 per cent jump in annual profits.

The firm, which earlier this year abandoned plans to raise 650 million in a stock market listing, yesterday unveiled an operating profit of 163m for the year to 27 March.

Like-for-like sales grew 1.2 per cent but chief executive Carl McPhail warned he was "cautious" about the year ahead.

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McPhail said he could neither rule in or rule out a resurrection of February's postponed flotation, which marked the second occasion in two years that the firm – fronted by Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen – shelved a stock market listing.

He said the banks that looked at the listing were "still there but not doing anything at this stage".

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