Retailer upgrades

Next raises forecast after profits edge higher

Next Straiton

Next: raising its forecast


Fashion and homewares chain Next is raising its full year forecast after profit before tax for the half year edged 0.5% higher at £311.1m.

The company said full price sales were 4.5% higher on last year, ahead of the 1% guidance given in January and the 2.2% in May.  Total first half sales fell by 6.9% to £925.1m.

The company said in August that it believed that there was a high risk that the sales gained in July would be offset by losses in August.

“As it turned out, we did not experience any material loss of sales in August or early September, so we are now raising our central guidance for full year profit before tax by £10m to £727m.

“This is broadly in line with last year’s profit of £726.1m and would deliver a growth in Earnings Per Share of 5.0%.”

It added that the UK retail market remains volatile, “subject to powerful structural and cyclical changes.  Many of these headwinds have not abated.  As expected, sales in our stores (which now account for just under half of our turnover) continue to be challenging.

“We believe the over-performance in the first half was flattered by the unusually warm summer and we remain cautious in our outlook for the rest of the year “

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