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Jan 6, 2009
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New Look eyes more store openings as sales rise

Jan 6, 2009

LONDON (Reuters) - Fashion retailer New Look said underlying UK sales rose 2.8 percent in the 14 weeks to January 3 and that it planned to invest in new stores in 2009 despite an expected deterioration in market conditions.

New Look spring 2009

New Look, which was taken private for 699 million pounds in 2004 by private equity firms Apax and Permira along with founder Tom Singh, said total group sales including new stores and those overseas rose 14.5 percent in the period.

"We are winning in an increasingly difficult market by staying focussed on the delivery of fashion our customers want at prices they can afford," Executive Chairman Phil Wrigley said in a trading statement.

"We expect the market will become more difficult in 2009 but we will continue to invest to drive growth in the UK and overseas."

The company said it would have added 350,000 square feet of new retail space in the UK by the end of the current financial year and that it had signed a new franchise agreement for Russia and expected to open its first store in Moscow early in 2009.

(Reporting by Paul Hoskins; Editing by James Davey)

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