British fashion retailer New Look has said it may sell its French Mim unit after the business forced it into a full-year pre tax loss, overshadowing a 5.8% rise in underlying earnings.

The firm, owned by private equity groups Apax and Permira as well as founder Tom Singh, said underlying earnings rose to £200.2m in the year to 29 March, up from £189.2m in 2012-13.

However, New Look made a pre tax loss of £55m after booking an impairment charge of £64.2m to write down the value of Mim's net assets.

In 2012-13 the group made a pre tax profit of £3.1m.

New Look, which pulled a planned flotation in 2010 amid turbulent financial markets, said it was exploring strategic options for Mim, including divestment options.

The firm said its strategy is to focus on building and developing the core New Look brand in Britain, online and internationally in four key geographies - China, Poland, Russia and Germany.

New Look, trading from over 1,100 stores in 24 countries including Ireland, grew annual sales 3% to £1.53bn, with sales at stores open over a year up 2.2% and e-commerce sales jumping 63.9%.

"I am confident that New Look is going into the new financial year in a good position to meet the challenges that lie ahead," said Chief Executive Anders Kristiansen.