Next snaps up Cath Kidston; full year sales up

Fashion and home furnishings retailer Next has announced the acquisition of the Cath Kidston brand as well as its full year trading update that includes progress of MADE’s integration.

Next has agreed to acquire the brand name, domain names and intellectual property of CK Acquisitions Ltd from the administrators for consideration of £8.5m.

“The cathkidston.com domain will be licenced back to the administrators for a period of up to 12 weeks to effect stock clearance, prior to relaunch under the company’s ownership,” Next said.

The Cath Kidston brand is the latest purchase by Next where it has snapped up a struggling business, following the acquisition of Joules and Made.com out of administration during 2022.

Furthermore, and according to its full year results to January 2023, Next said sales were up 8.4% to £5.1bn from £4.7bn in 2022. NEXT profit before tax stood at £870.4m, up 5.7% from £823.1m. Group pre-tax profit resulted at £711.7m, up 5% from £677.5m against the previous year.

Online sales were down 2% to £3bn, while retail store sales were up 30% to £1.8bn, with city centre stores performing strongly, seeing growth of 23%. Retail parks and shopping centres saw declines of 3% and 7% respectively.

Next Home sales were down 8% to £84m during the year, but up 125% over a three-year comparison. Licensing sales within the home division generated £8m, up 27% on last year.

Next said that its Home market share was around 3% and added that it will focus on the full implementation of the Made.com website during the year ahead, which started this month and is expected to be completed in four months during July 2023.

Looking ahead, Next said it is budgeting for full price sales to be down -1.5% versus last year and NEXT profit before tax to be £795m. Selling price inflation is forecast to be more benign than previously thought. Like-for-like price inflation in Spring/Summer is expected to be +7% and, in Autumn/Winter, +3% (previously +8% and +6% respectively).

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