Christmas surge boosts profit forecast at Next
Clothing retailer Next nudged its full-year profit forecast higher yesterday as it reported a rise in sales in the run-up to Christmas along with better margins.
Kicking off the post-Christmas retail reporting season for listed companies, Next, which has a longstanding policy of never going on sale before Christmas, said it expected a year to end-January 2013 pretax profit of £611-£625 million.
Its previous guidance was £590-£620 million.
“Although sales have been in line with our expectations, cost control measures, markdowns and gross margins have all been slightly better than expected,” the firm said.
Next said total sales rose 3.9 per cent in the November 1st to December 24th period. Sales at its 500-plus stores rose 0.8 per cent, while sales at the directory home shopping business increased 11.2 per cent. – (Reuters)