Next posts sales rise
Next has reported a 3.2% increase in sales, excluding VAT, for the 26 weeks to 30 July. That compares with the retailer's forecast of a 1.5-4% rise and growth in the first quarter of 5.2%.
Retail sales fell by 1.7% from last year, however Next Directory sales increased by 15.1% on the previous year.
Next said its internal full year profit forecast would remain in line with previous guidance, before adjusting for the sale of customer management outsourcing company Ventura and its exceptional gain of £36 million. Ventura delivered profits of £3 million up to the date of sale compared with £8 m for the full year last year.
The company said it expected the cost price inflation experienced in the first half of 2011 to continue into the second half at broadly the same rate of +8%.
"2012 looks like it will be a more benign year for cost price inflation. The combination of a sharp reduction in cotton prices, an easing of manufacturing capacity constraints in the Far East and the annualising of this year's VAT increase all mean that selling prices are unlikely to rise further for Spring 2012," said the statement issued today.
Next is the UK's second largest fashion retailer and operates 500 stores across the country.
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