Next has increased its pre-tax profits guidance for the full year to £720m from £700m after seeing a surge in sales.
The retailer previously forecasted that in its 13 weeks to 1 May, sales would be down by 10%, however due to a 65% increase in online sales and Covid-19 restrictions easing, the retailer beat its Q1 estimate by £75m.
Overall sales marginally declined 0.6% at the start of the year by £5m when the third lockdown was underway and affected trade. However, the retailer added that “very few” of the retail sales lost on adult clothing were recovered online.
In the last three weeks whilst lockdown restrictions were easing, sales were reportedly “exceptionally strong” compared with two years ago, with total full price sales up 19%.
With sales carrying on this way, the retailer now expects full price sales for the rest of the year to be 3% higher than in 2019.
The next trading update will cover the first 26 weeks of the year to 31 July 2021, and is scheduled for Wednesday 4 August 2021.