Next raises full year profit forecast by £20m

Fashion and home furnishings retailer Next has reported an increase in its full year profit guidance by £20m.

According to its latest trading update, Next said that full price sales during November and December have been “better than anticipated”.

In the nine weeks to 30 December, full price sales were up +5.7% versus last year. This was £38m better than its previous guidance of +2% for the period.

“Stock has been well controlled,” Next said. “We went into the end-of-season Sale with -12% less surplus stock than last year. We expect clearance rates over the life of the Sale to be broadly in line with last year.

“We have increased our full year profit before tax guidance by £20m to £905m, up +4% versus last year. Of the £20m increase, £17m came from the sales beat to date and £3m comes from an upgraded forecast for full price sales in January.”

As for initial guidance for the year ahead, Next added that it expects full price sales on continuous business to be up +2.5%.

“After accounting for the effect of recent acquisitions, we expect Group sales, including subsidiary companies, to be up by +6%. Guidance for Group profit before tax for the year ahead to be up +5%.

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