New Look profit boosted by popularity of kimono tops

New Look kimono-style top Image copyright New Look
Image caption The firm said it had sold one kimono-style top every five seconds

High street fashion chain New Look has seen its first quarter profit boosted by the popularity of Japanese kimono-style tops.

It said it had sold 40,000 kimonos a week in the 13 weeks to the 28 June, equating to one every five seconds.

This helped drive like-for-like sales at the group up 8.9%, with underlying operating profit up 38.4% to £43.6m.

New Look boss Anders Kristiansen said the "terrific" results were better than it expected.

"[These results were] driven by the fact that we hit key trends effectively," he added.

The private company, which is controlled by private equity firms Apax and Permira, also said it had received an indicative offer for Mim, the chain it owns in France.

However, it did not name the suitor.

Separately, it said it had had a "pleasing start" to the second quarter, selling more items at full price than the same period last year.

However, it warned last year's strong numbers meant it faced a "tougher comparative period".

"Despite this good start to the year, we remain watchful of the consumer environment," it added.

The chain, whose first shop opened in Taunton in 1969, now has 1,160 stores worldwide.

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