Next raises profit outlook on strong recent trading

Sales in the last seven weeks up 4% on last year driven by cool weather and few overseas holidays

Next said its central guidance now assumes a full-year 2020-21 pretax profit of £300m (€329m), up from its view in July of £195m but sharply down from the £729m made in 2019-20. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Next said its central guidance now assumes a full-year 2020-21 pretax profit of £300m (€329m), up from its view in July of £195m but sharply down from the £729m made in 2019-20. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

British clothing retailer Next raised its profit outlook for the second time in two months on Thursday as it reported strong recent trading.

The group, which trades from about 500 stores in Ireland and the UK and its Directory online business, said full-price sales in the last seven weeks were up 4 per cent on last year, driven by recent cool weather and fewer overseas holidays.

Next said its central guidance now assumes a full-year 2020-21 pretax profit of £300 million (€329m), up from its view in July of £195 million but sharply down from the £729 million made in 2019-20.

The forecast profit decline reflects the impact of the coronavirus lockdown which closed its stores.

Its central guidance is for full-price sales for the rest of the year to be down 12 per cent.

Next reported first-half profit of £9 million, with full price sales down 33 per cent due to the lockdown.

Shares in Next, down 12 per cent so far this year, closed Wednesday at 6,170 pence, valuing the business at £8.2 billion. – Reuters