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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.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

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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