Clothing & ShoesHigh Street

Next sales grow 2.8% but shares slump

Next’s shares slumped 6% in early trading, despite the retailer reporting sales growth of 2.8% – boosted by the hot weather – in its latest results.

The clothing retailer said in its trading update for the 12 weeks ending 28 July online sales were up 12.5%, but in its retail stores, trade fell by 5.9%. It said that sales were ahead of  guidance and the “over-achievement” was attributed to the “prolonged period” of hot weather increasing sales of summer clothing.

However it warned the boost from the hot weather was unlikely to last and the growth probably reflected consumers bringing forward purchases they may have made in August. As a result Next maintained its full-year profit forecast at £717m, down 1.3% on 2017.

In a statement, it said: “We believe that this over-achievement in sales was due to the prolonged period of exceptionally warm weather, which greatly assisted the sales of summer weight product.

“It is almost certain that some of these sales have been pulled forward from August, so we are maintaining our sales and profit guidance for the year to January 2019.”

Upon the news of the update shares in Next plunged 6% in early trading and at the time of writing have yet to recover.

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