Next annual profit jumps 12pc
Next, Britain's second-largest clothing retailer, met guidance with a 11.8pc rise in year profit driven by growth at its Directory internet and catalogue business.
The firm, which also trades from over 500 stores in Britain and Ireland and almost 200 stores in more than 30 countries overseas, said on Thursday it made a profit before tax of £695.2m in the year to end-January 2014.
That compares to Next's own guidance of 684-700 million pounds, analysts' consensus forecast of £695m and £621.6m pounds made in the 2012-13 year.
Underlying earnings per share rose 23pc to 366p, boosted by share buy-backs and the dividend was increased 23pc to 129p.
The firm forecast sales growth of 4-8pc in its 2014-15 year, with pre-tax profit rising to £730m to £770m.