Next raises full year profit forecast

Next is raising its full year profit forecast for the 2013/14 financial year after witnessing a strong sales performance over the Christmas trading period.

Sales rose 11.9% between 1 November and 24 December, compared to the same period last year.

As a result, the retailer is raising its profit forecast range to between £684m and £700m. In its interim management statement published in October, Next predicted a group profit before tax of between £650m and £680m for the full year.

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Next’s financial year ends on 25 January 2014.

The retailer said the step-up in Christmas trade was mainly down to improvements in its seasonal nightwear, knitwear and gift offering.

“In addition, increased confidence in online deliveries meant that more customers continued to trade with Next Directory right up to the weekend before Christmas,” Next said in a statement.

Sales at Next stores grew 7.7%, while online sales grew by 21% between 1 November and 24 December.

But the retailer cautioned that it did not expect to see a significant increase in total consumer spending in the year ahead, as the problem of little or no growth in real earnings looks set to persist for some time.

“We are also wary that any return to significant economic growth is likely to result in rising interest rates which, in turn, is likely to moderate spending of those with mortgages,” the company added.




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