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Challenging conditions on high street

Toughest year since 2008 says retailer Next

NextNext has warned that this could be the toughest year it has faced since 2008 as it reported a slight rise in annual profits.

Pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 January was £836.1m, against £782.2m a year earlier.

It said its Next Directory online division had seen slowing growth “as a result of competitors catching up with our delivery and warehousing capabilities”.

The year ahead, it said,  “may well be the toughest we have faced since 2008.

“It may well feel like walking up the down escalator, with a great deal of effort required to stand still.

“It will not be the first time we have felt this way, and our experience is that the effort put into improving the business in tough times can pay handsome rewards when conditions improve.”

Next trades from more than 500 shops in Britain and Ireland.

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