Business World

Monday 26 August 2019

Back in fashion: Next raises profit forecast after strong full-price sales

UK retailer Next has upped its profit expectations for the year after it shifted more full-price stock than expected.
UK retailer Next has upped its profit expectations for the year after it shifted more full-price stock than expected.

Alys Key

UK retailer Next has upped its profit expectations for the year after it shifted more full-price stock than expected.

Shares in the company jumped 7.5pc in early trading yesterday after it said group profit before tax was now forecast to come in at £725m (€796m), up from £715m. If achieved, the figure will mark growth of 0.3pc for the brand, versus a previously expected decline of 1.1pc.

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The upgrade comes on the back of an update for the 26 weeks to July 27, which showed full-price sales were up 4.3pc on last year, outstripping expectations.

The group estimated that full-price sales for the whole year will grow 3.6pc, rather than 1.7pc as previously guided. Next said it went into its end-of-season sale in July with 1pc less surplus stock than last year.

Although sales in shops were down 3.9pc in the first half, the rate of decline was slower than last year and online growth continued to be in the double-digits, at 11.9pc. The market responded positively to the news, with analysts at Shore Capital commenting: "Next remains a well-managed company."

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