High Street

Next raises profit guidance amid strong sales performance

Full price sales were 4.7% stronger than expected in the second quarter to 30 July, which Next said was due to ‘unusually warm and dry weather in June and July’

Next has revealed its sales performance exceeded expectations by £50m, leading the retailer to raise its full-year profit guidance by £10m to £860m.

Full price sales were 4.7% stronger than expected in the second quarter to 30 July, which Next said was due to “unusually warm and dry weather in June and July”.

It also said that on a year-on-year basis, online sales had “ground to a halt” as they edged up 0.2%, while stores were enjoying a “renaissance” with a 12% sales jump.

However, Next said it thinks “that these changes reflect a short term reversal of pandemic trends, and are unlikely to be indicative of longer term trends in consumer behaviour”.

On a three-year comparison, Next online sales are 44.4% higher while store sales are up 4.7%. Next full price sales were also up 25.5% in 2019, while its finance interest income is up 2.4%.

Meanwhile its Earnings Per Share (EPS) guidance increased to +7.2% versus last year.

The company said: “A marked return to formal dressing, perhaps driven by pent up demand for social events such as weddings, has also played to the strengths of the Next brand.”

It added that the stronger-than-expected sales performance is not expected to continue at the same rate, with the warm weather fading in the second half of the year, and the impact of inflation likely to hit consumer spending.

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