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New Look bets big on China

British fashion retailer New Look has reaffirmed its plan to open 20 stores in China.

New Look will open its first Chinese store in March 2014, says CEO Anders Kristiansen, and a further 19 within the first year. Its expansion to China will see it competing with global retailers such as H&M of Sweden, Inditex of Spain and Gap of the US.

The retailer is confident it is well-positioned to expand to international markets after a strong financial performance for the year to March, booking a profit before tax of £3.1 million compared to a loss of £54.5 million a year earlier.

It says it is also considering Russia, Poland and South Korea as potential markets.

“I believe New Look is now well positioned to explore exciting development opportunities of new markets in eastern Europe and Southeast Asia – specifically Russia and China,” said Kristiansen.

New Look, whose owners include private equity firms Apax and Permira, will also spend the next three years refurbishing its stores. It has more than 1100 stores globally, 600 of which are located in the UK.

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