Next posts better than expected Christmas sales
Next has posted better-than-expected sales in the run-up to Christmas following a strong performance online.
In the nine weeks to 30 December, the fashion and homeware retailer’s full price sales rose by 5.7% year-on-year compared to a previous guidance of 2% growth.
Next said its online and high street businesses both performed ahead of expectations. Online sales growth was particularly strong with an uplift of 9.1% following service improvements. Store sales rose by 0.6%.
The retailer went into its end-of-season sale with 12% less surplus stock than at the same time in the previous year and expects clearance rates over the life of the sale to be broadly in line with last year.
As a result of the performance, Next has revised its guidance for full year pre-tax profit by £20 million to £905 million – a rise of 4% on the prior year. This compares to guidance of 1.7% growth given in November. It also expects full price sales to increase by 4% to £4.78 billion versus November’s guidance of a 3.1% uplift.