Brait's new buy New Look posts big profit rise

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London - British budget clothes retailer New Look, snapped up last month by African investment heavyweight Brait SE, posted a big jump in full-year profit on Tuesday.

New Look, which vies with Primark, Next and H&M on UK high streets and trades from another 200 stores across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, said pre-tax profit for the year to March 28 rose to €50.6m, up from €20.7m a year ago.

Group revenue rose 3.4% in the period to €1.4bn with sales at UK stores open over a year up 5%.

Last month Brait, whose top shareholder is South African retail mogul Christo Wiese, agreed to pay $1.2bn for a 90% equity stake in New Look.

New Look is expanding in Europe in countries such as France, Poland and Germany, and has big plans for China too where it operates 30 stores and wants 70 in total by March next year.

The firm said it had been pleased with early summer trading.

Following the deal with Brait, New Look said it was evaluating ways to optimise its capital structure to reduce costs.

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