Next lowers profit forecast
Fashion and homewares retailer Next has lowered its full year profit forecast although it has reported an increase in Christmas sales.
In a statement, the company said it expects full price sales growth for the year to January 2019 to be 3.2%, which is in line with the guidance it gave in September. However, its central guidance for full year profit is now £723 million, which is 0.6% lower than its previous guidance of £727 million.
Next said the £4 million difference is due to higher sales of personalised gifts and beauty products in the lead-up to Christmas, which reduced its margin by £1.5 million. The remaining £2.5 million reduction is the result of an increase in operational costs following higher online sales.
The company said full price sales from 28 October to 29 December were up 1.5% although sales in November were “disappointing”. Stock in its end-of-season sale, including stock put into its Black Friday event, was up 3% on last year.
For the year to January 2020, Next is expecting pre-tax profit to come in at £715 million with full price sales growth of 1.7%.
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