Next profits up 11.8% after "great year"
While group revenue rose by 5.4% to £3.7 billion, sales at the group’s high street stores edged up 1.7% with online and catalogue sales increasing by 12.4%.
The results mean that Next’s profits are set to exceed those of Marks & Spencer for the first time.
The group is now expecting sales growth of between 4% and 8% for Next branded sales over the current year. It is also forecasting that pre-tax profits will rise between 5% and 11% in the year, which could take them as high as £770 million.
Next chairman John Barton said strong Christmas trading had given the group a solid platform for 2014. He added: “Our strategy remains the same, focused on our products, our profitability and returning cash to our shareholders. Notwithstanding the continued pressure on the UK consumer, we anticipate another year of growth for Next.”
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