Next ups full year profit guidance
Next has upgraded its full year profit guidance after seeing a 62% uplift in full price sales in the six months to July compared to the same period last year.
Full price sales were also up 8.8% on pre-Covid levels in 2019 while pre-tax profit rose by 5.9% to £347 million on the same period.
Next said its retail stores bounced back better than expected after Covid-19 restrictions were eased in April and that online sales fell back less than anticipated. It also revealed that the positive sales momentum continued through August into the second half of the financial year, despite stock shortages caused by Covid-19 disruption to international supply chains.
The retailer did not experience difficulties in recruiting staff in the period, particularly in its stores, but is concerned about staffing for the seasonal peaks in warehousing and logistics. It added: “Without the contribution of overseas workers to assist with these peaks, we suspect customer deliveries may take longer to arrive as we go into the peak trading season.”
As a result of the first half performance, Next has now raised its full price sales guidance for the rest of the year to +10% versus 2019. In addition, it expects pre-tax profit to be 6.9% up on 2019 and £36 million ahead of its previous guidance of £764 million.
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