Next raises profit guidance following growth in online sales
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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