Next raises profit guidance following growth in online sales
A strong performance from Next's online business has led the retailer to increase its profit and sales guidance for the year.
Total sales in the 26 weeks to 28 July 2012 increased 4.5% on last year, which topped the clothing retailer’s +1% to +4% guidance range given in its March and May trading statements. While sales at Next’s high street stores edged up 0.2% on last year, online and catalogue sales at its Next Directory business climbed 13.3%.
Regarding the full year performance, Next said it had increased and narrowed its sales and profit guidance ranges. In a statement the retailer said: "We now anticipate brand sales growth of +2.0% to +4.5% and group profit before tax of £575 million to £620 million (previously £560 million to £610 million)."
Next added that it planned to buy back approximately £200 million of shares this year, of which to date it had spent £112 million buying 3.9 million shares.
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