Next raises profit forecast
Next has raised its profit guidance for a second time after trading throughout the coronavirus pandemic was more resilient than expected.
The fashion and homewares retailer now expects its full year pre-tax profit to come in at £300 million compared to the £195 million it forecast back in July.
In an interim results statement, Next said full price sales in the six months to July fell by 33% year-on-year, although they have risen by 4% in the last seven weeks. Despite the overall decline, the retailer has reported a small pre-tax profit of £9 million for the period.
Next said it benefited from the scale and continued success of its online business as well the strength of its out of town stores in retail parks. It was also boosted by its significant home, childrenswear, loungewear and sportswear categories, all of which have performed relatively well during the pandemic.
Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said: “The company’s sales performance through the pandemic has been more resilient than we expected. The scale of our online business (in the UK and overseas), the breadth of our product offer, and the fact that much of our store portfolio is located out of town, have served to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic on trade.”
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